Picture it, you're at a fall party, and someone asks if you'd like a nip of mulled cider. You check your internal rolodex, but you come up empty. You're left wondering what mulled cider is, and how it tastes. You take a sip, and the rest is history.
Basically, to mull something means to heat it and flavor it with spices. Cinnamon, orange peel, nutmeg, cloves, or other spices are added. The beverage is the perfect accoutrement to fall in the northeast. Mulling is nothing new to humanity, written evidence of the process can be found going back to the 2nd century BC.
But how do I make mulled bevvies?
I found a recipe from acouplecooks.com that gives you three different options for making the drink. As it needs to be heated, you can either use your range, a slow cooker, or an Instant Pot. I love my Instant Pot, and use it all the time, but in my experience, slow and low is always the way to go.
The recipe's main protip is to toast the spices first. Toasting the spices by heating them up in a skillet opens them up and releases their flavor for an even more intense drink.
What will I need to make mulled cider?
What you have on hand in your spice cabinet might not be right for this recipe. You'll need whole nutmeg, allspice berries, cloves, star anise, and cinnamon sticks to round out the spices. You'll also need 1/2 gallon of cider, and an orange and cranberries for garnish.
If you're feeling cheeky, you can spike your mixture with an optional 1/4 cup (or more) of rum! For the full recipe, click here.
Sip and Discover Otsego County Along The 37-Mile Cooperstown Beverage Trail
Gallery Credit: Leslie Ann, TSM Oneonta