A few years ago I waxed eloquent about mulled wine as a way to use up leftover wine and appreciate exotic spices.
Since then mulled wine has been fully supplanted by mulled cider in my house. I’ve been pressing cider in increasing quantities, and the abundance of cheap, delicious apple juice has pushed wine further and further from my thoughts and my dinner table.
What I am appreciating most about mulled cider is its adaptability. After fermented apple juice, every other possible ingredient is optional, so the drink can be tailored to the moment.
If I’m using dry cider from last fall I’ll add some honey for sweetness and body, but if I have cider fresh from the press I won’t sweeten it at all.
Depending on the temperature outside and how much work I have to do later in the day I might add a couple shots of brandy to the mug.
Maybe it’s a cool fall day and I want only the taste of apple juice and cinnamon. Maybe it’s the longest night of the year and I need to add black pepper, allspice, and clove…
This is high season for mulled cider in Edmonton, as it is best enjoyed outdoors, in the midst of autumn leaves.