Gather together with family and friends this festive season and enjoy a glass of this scrumptious mulled cider. Aromatic spices cinnamon, cloves and star anise add an extra dimension to tangy apple cider. This tasty mulled cider will make an interesting change from the classic mulled wine. Why not try using a different flavoured cider such as pear, strawberry or cherry. For a non-alcoholic version that children and teetotallers will love, simply replace the cider with good quality cloudy apple juice. You’ll enjoy this heart-warming drink so much you’ll want to drink it throughout the chilly months!
- 2 large lemons
- Approx 120 cloves (a handful)
- 2 apples
- 3 cinnamon sticks
- 5 pieces star anise
- 2ltr cider
Using a cocktail stick make a hole in the skin of one of the lemons and insert a clove into the hole. Leave a space and repeat in a circle around one end of the lemon. Repeat the process along the lemon leaving approx. 1.5cm between each ring of cloves. Use a sharp knife to cut the lemon into slices between the cloves. Slice the other lemon.
Cut the apples into quarters and carefully cut away the core. Cut the pieces of apple into thin slices.
Place the cinnamon sticks and star anise pieces in a large, heavy-based saucepan and heat for 1 minute, stirring to release the flavours.
Add the cider, apple and lemon slices to the pan and heat over a low-medium heat, stirring occasionally for 30-35 minutes or until piping hot. Serve ladled into tall glasses with fruit slices.
Star anise is a warm, sweet spice frequently used in Asian cookery. You will find jars of star anise amongst the spices in most major supermarkets.