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Mulled cider is a heartwarming beverage for the winter season, especially good during the holidays. The spiced butter is a magical finish, so do use it. This version adds alcohol, but it is easily omitted so kids can also enjoy it.

Prep Time: 10minutes

Total Time: 10minutes

Ingredients:

  • 2 quarts fresh apple cider
  • 1/4 cup (packed) light brown sugar
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 cinnamon sticks (about 2 inches each)
  • 1/2 teaspoon whole cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • Zest of 1 orange, peeled in continuous spiral if possible
  • 1 ounce per serving of rum, brandy, or Calvados (optional)
  • .
  • Spiced Butter (optional):
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 cups (packed) dark brown sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

Preparation:

Combine the apple cider, light brown sugar, bay leaves, cinnamon sticks, cloves, cardamom, nutmeg, and orange zest in a large pan. Bring to a boil, then simmer uncovered 30 minutes. Strain the spices from the mixture and discard. Return the cider to pan and keep warm. The cider is ready to be served as is. If spiking it, pour 1 ounce of the preferred liquor into each serving mug and fill with the hot cider.

If the cider is to be embellished with the spiced butter, cream the butter and dark brown sugar together with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add the spices and continue beating 1 minute more. Float a heaping teaspoon of the butter on top of each serving of hot cider. Store any leftover butter in the refrigerator for future batches of mulled cider.

Yield: 8 servings

Recipe Source: Cold Weather Cooking by Sarah Leah Chase (Workman Pub.)
Reprinted with permission.

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