Hot apple cider

Mulled wine is quite a common thing in Winter, and particularly Christmas time, but there’s some alternatives for a warming drink. One, which is probably my favourite, is mulled apple juice or ‘hot apple cider’ as it’s often called (particularly in the states).

When the frost is starting to set in or the snow falls, it’s always nice to come in from the cold and warm up with a hot drink!

Ingredients:1 litre of apple juice – I use the concentrate stuff, but that’s because I’m cheap. Any apple juice will work. You can also use still cider if you want a bit of added merriment – sweet/medium ciders work well.1 bramley apple, cut into quarters. Stab it a bit with a knife to get the extra flavour out.Half a lemonHalf a lime1-2  Schwartz ‘Mulled spice’ bags, or a similar concoction of spices (there’s recipes all over the place for them)

Pour the juice into a saucepan, put in the Bramley apple pieces and mulled spice bags. Squeeze the lemon and lime into the mixture a bit to get some juice out and then place the halves into the pan.
Heat it up until it’s bubbling, place a lid on the saucepan and then leave it to simmer on a low heat for 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Voila! Delicious hot drink.

If you have some winter Pimms available, it goes incredibly well with this. Just add a shot to your mug of apple juice after the simmering. Someone I know found they really enjoy it with a bit of blackcurrent cordial mixed in (“although just a bit, not much”).

As well as being a hot drink, it’s also quite refreshing as a summer one too. Simply cook it up as above, leave it to cool, and place it in the fridge. Once it’s cooled down, serve.

If you want to use the Schwartz spice bags in summer, be sure to stock up in the winter – They’re hard to find for the rest of the year. Keep them in an airtight container.