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Warming Your Guests with a Holiday Favorite: Mulled Cider and Wine

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By Rachel Derry
Staff Writer LIFamilies

During the holiday season, and throughout the winter for that matter, nothing quite warms your bones like a blazing fire, good company, and a warm mug in your hands. Throughout the year, you become accustomed to hot chocolate or coffee to keep the chill away and help you to warm up. When you have guests arriving, however, why not greet them with a special treat to celebrate their arrival. One old favorite that can easily fill your house with familiar scents and flavors is the traditional mulled cider or wine. With a couple ingredients that are likely already in your spice rack you can delight with a new holiday tradition.

For a familiar holiday flavor, warm your guests up with a steaming mug of mulled cider or wine. Nothing else quite compares to the scent emanating from a crock-pot full of cider and mulling spices. For either wine or cider, start with your own mulling spices to brew. You can either encase your spices in cheese cloth, acting as a “tea bag” of sorts, or allow the spices to just brew loosely, later straining them out of the beverage.

For a simple spice all you’ll need to have on hand are whole cloves and cinnamon sticks, you can also add a large quartered orange, ground nutmeg, whole star anise and whole allspice if you’re so inclined. For a couple quarts of mulled wine or cider, combine 2-3 cinnamon sticks and 1 tablespoon whole cloves, for additional flavor also add 2 whole star anises, 1 large quartered orange, 1 healthy pinch of nutmeg, and a teaspoon of allspice berries.

Pour 2 bottles of red wine or 3 quarts of cider in the pot with your spices, and allow mulling for 2 hours on high or 4 hours on low. If you’re brewing on the stove instead, allow liquid with spices to come to a boil and then simmer for 6-8 minutes.

Long Island Home & Lifestyle Articles > Warming Your Guests with a Holiday Favorite: Mulled Cider and Wine

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