Mulled Cider

Mulled cider is the perfect comfort drink at home or while camping, boating or hunting.

By Jimmy Kennedy, & Justin Brouillard
Cook Ambassadors

Mulled cider is one of those New England specialties that, in my mind, ranks up there with maple syrup and lobster rolls. It really shines when the weather starts to cool and the local orchards have harvested their crops and made fresh apple cider.

Mulled cider is the perfect comfort drink at home or while camping, boating or hunting. Fill your thermos and take it with you for a delicious, warming drink whenever the temperature starts to drop.

It’s important to start with a good, fresh apple cider. Don’t use the cider that’s sitting on the grocery store shelves. It’s best to go straight to the nearest local orchard, but if that’s not possible, look for apple cider in the refrigerated section at your local store. Also, always use whole spices to infuse flavor into the cider. Ground spices just will not work for this.

(Photo: Justin Broulliard)


1/2 gallon apple cider

2 oranges, one sliced and one half peeled

16 or so whole cloves, half for the cider and half for the orange

6 cinnamon sticks, 4 for the cider and 2 for garnish

12 or so allspice berries

4 star anise

(Photo: Justin Broulliard)


You can heat the cider on a stovetop, campfire, grill or propane camp stove. It takes a little time to simmer, but any heat source will work just fine.

1. Using a small knife or vegetable peeler, peel four pieces of an orange from top to bottom and set aside. Stud the exposed parts of the orange with half of the whole cloves and set aside.

2. Heat the cider until almost boiling and then add four of the cinnamon sticks, the allspice berries, the remaining cloves, the star anise, the studded orange and the orange peels. As soon as it comes to a boil, reduce the heat by either turning the heat down to a simmer or moving the pot to a cooler spot on the campfire. Either way, the idea is to let the cider just barely simmer for at least half an hour or even longer. When you’re ready to serve, you can strain the spices using a small strainer or just use a ladle and work around them.

Personally, I find the stronger the flavor, the better, so I just ladle spices and all into the mugs. Use large, coffee-cup-type mugs and garnish each with a cinnamon stick and slice of orange. Wrap your hands around the warm mug, take in the aroma and enjoy.

Prep time: 5 to 10 minutes

Cook time: 30 minutes to 1 hour

Yield: 8 cups

(Photo: Justin Broulliard)

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