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Recipe File: Mulled Cider (Spiced Apple Cider)
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 23, 2007 6:59 am    Post subject: cider Reply with quote

Cider and juice are not the same thing - I have been to several apple orchards and have seen them making both - they are very different!!! However, I am glad to hear that so many people love mulled cider. I think it is one of the most amazing drinks for a party on a cold wintry night. I always have a bottle of whiskey, dark rum or brandy nearby so anyone interested may add a shot to their cup. My mother will often throw a cup or 2 of cranberry juice into her apple cider which adds an interesting twist to the flavor - just another option one may try. I agree that whole spices are the best way to go and will have to give the lemon zest and peppercorns a try this year. I am actually having a cup right now!!!
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 21, 2008 4:31 pm    Post subject: modifications... Reply with quote

since i am from California, i would love to try the "REAL" non-alcoholic cider but the best i can do besides picking and pressing my own apples is to buy the unfiltered organic apple juice.

i agree a lot of juice evaporates so i only simmer it for 20 minutes (less for the "angel's share") also i'm torn if i should add any sugar at all. the juice wasn't terribly sweet and i put less than half a portion but it seemed to get sweeter as it simmered...also i wonder if allspice is better than adding peppercorns? how much allspice shoud i use?

i like to add orange slices for a garnish. in the end it's so nice to have a hot fruity drink when it's "cold" out and you can drive yourself home afterwards Smile
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 18, 2009 11:40 am    Post subject: Other cider ideas Reply with quote

For the cider vs juice debate, I'm something of a traitor to my side - I come from New England, but lived in Virginia most of my life, and now being in China where "real" cider (non-alcoholic) isn't available (as far as I know), I have taken to using the word as it is in this recipe - spiced juice, really, but I call it "cider" and am understood by all the expats here who always ask for re-fills! My conscience has let me off the hook since it's such a hit Smile

So, my mix of spices is:
starting with at least two liters 100% juice, add
two or three cinnamon sticks,
a dozen or more cloves pushed into a clean small orange (sometimes I make a cut in the skin too to let out a little more juice),
4-5 medium slices crystalized ginger,
a freshly-bruised whole nutmeg, and
3-4 large slices of apple with the skin still on.
And yes, it gets better the longer it simmers!

I also put in extra apple juice when I'm simmering apples for sauce, and then ladle the liquid out before crushing/processing the cooked apples. The liquid I mix in small amounts with plain apple juice to make "instant cider" or freeze it in larger batches to mix in with the cider recipe above. This adds apple particulate to the finished product, which personally I think is what makes it truly cider-ish. I describe it as a more "raw" flavor. (It's why I put slices of apple in the recipe above when I don't have this concentrate to work with... I don't know how much it helps, but it makes me feel better, anyway!)
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 25, 2009 3:51 pm    Post subject: TopsfieldFair Reply with quote

How neat to have comments going on for three years about this recipe.
I couldn't resist giving my $.02 so here goes.
I'm also from New England (MA) where cider is certainlly made from real apples.
If you've ever been to Topsfield Fair, every first week of October in Topsfield MA, you can see the process done right there before your very eyes and it's really cool to watch and even more delightful to drink. (watch out for the bees they love it too)
I suspect however that folks love to enjoy a "tanged up" anything and that is why we sit here sharing our ideas on how to get that delicious cider taste from our own kitchens for lack of the right equipment.
I've never had a better cider than that at the fair. But here is my kitchen recipe...

Crock pot, high setting
Fill it up with apple juice Not from concentrate, like Stewarts if you've ever had that. (I've used frozen with water too, it's ok)
small orange, sliced
some clove, not too much
3-4 cinnamon sticks
add sugar; brown, splenda, stevia, cinnamon sugar whatever (start off with a little then increase as desired)
tbs ginger
tsp nutmeg
Give it a good stir and let the heat do the rest. The longer it sits the better, but its ready to go in a few hours. Try to strain out the clove with a mesh scoop if you have it but I wouldn't worry about straining the whole batch. WATCH OUT, it will be hot!
The crock pot can be placed anywhere you'd like it to for entertaining, so that's a plus when preparing it this way.
Enjoy all you Autumn / holiday cider extremes! I love it!
And I love you!!!!!
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 11, 2009 11:52 pm    Post subject: Mulled Cider Reply with quote

I'm from NYC originally, where people might think of apple cider and juice as the same thing, but I lived for many years in Ulster Country, NY, where the best apple cider in the world is made (sorry Massachusetts) and have to vote strongly that there is a big difference between a cup of hardy apple cider and it's cleaned up little brother, juice. I would never think of adding rum to juice, for example. Love all the mulling recipes here, except for adding sugar. A little rum or bourbon, perhaps, and a thermos to take it ice skating.
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 26, 2009 4:08 am    Post subject: Real apple cider Reply with quote

There is nothing like real pressed apple cider! I live in Florida and have never found the kind of cider the Amish have in Pennsylvania!
Down here, to me it just tastes like plain old apple juice.
I would give anything to find the real stuff! Maybe I will have to load up the car and take a drive North soon!!!! Unsure
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 03, 2009 9:57 pm    Post subject: Great Recipe Reply with quote

This is an easy and fun recipe I'm doing with my kids tonight. My husband is a geologist, thought, so I probably won't mention where I got the recipe (the battle between the engineers and the geologists rages at his consulting firm). Thanks for the great ideas. Nicely presented, too.
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 16, 2009 1:31 pm    Post subject: Northern NJ thoughts Reply with quote

LOVE the banter and the recipe! The cider-juice difference must be a pinch of semantics, a whole lot of engineering egos --and dollop of which region you're from. I live in northern NJ (near several orchards) and what you call it truly depends upon where you grew up! Smile Here, there's a big difference in product but the name gets confused all the time. It seems to me that if it is freshly pressed, it is cider. We have a deer problem in the area and sadly, many local orchards are no longer making cider because they don't have the equipment to pasturize it (to prevent bacterial issues). Even pasturized, cider is still quite different looking and tasting than juice.

Regarding the recipie: Last night was the first time I ever made it! I didn't have peppercorns and hadn't thought of toasting all of the spices first! I plan to go shopping today! great IDEAS! Big smile i can't wait to taste it!! In the past, my friends have made it with cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice, cardemom and a little coriander. It sounds very much like pumpkin pie spices to me...I've also had it with an added touch of orange juice but no sugar. Lemme know what you all think, if you try it that way! By the way, the teaball works wonderfully. Don't burn yourself adding your spices to the teaball!! Shock Enjoy and thanks to all for sharing!!!
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 09, 2009 11:41 am    Post subject: "Cider" in Japan Reply with quote

You guys think it's hard to define cider where you live - at least your neighbors know it comes from apples! I don't know what happened to cause this, but in Japan the word "cider" means a carbonated soft drink, usually the kind flavored like Sprite or 7-up - the most famous brand is Mitsuya ("three arrows") Cider (see the Wikipedia article).

We have Christmas parties every year for various groups of people (a primary motivation is to tell them what Christmas means - most of them have no idea!), and when we can, we make mulled cider. Like MissJubilee who wrote earlier from China, in Japan also there is no such thing as either the northern U.S. definition of cider (cloudy brown flavorful fresh stuff - I grew up in Indiana, so I know about that) or the British definition (Applejack), so I have to use ordinary apple juice. I have always just used lots of cinnamon sticks and cloves, but this year I'll try the citric zest and maybe even the peppercorns (sounds daring - I may start with just a few). Or maybe it would be fun, especially for a party with kids, to make the afore-mentioned "death star" - the winter tangerines here (called mikan) are small, great-flavored, and the skin is quite thin - almost no white pith at all, so no bitterness.

But we always have to explain what cider is. Since even the western world can't agree on the definition, we usually just say that is a substance similar to apple juice but a little different, and leave it at that. Merry Christmas!
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 18, 2009 5:42 pm    Post subject: Mulled cider Reply with quote

I tried this recipe last Xmas for friends...what a hit! The peppercorns add bite but its subtle. After toasting the seasonings, I tied them in a cheesecloth bag and let it simmer in the REAL local cider I bought from a farm that has a cider press. Needless to say I'm making this recipe again next week when company comes. Oh, and don't forget to leave out a bottle of spiced rum for guests to add as needed.....YUM!
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 22, 2009 3:55 pm    Post subject: Apple Cider Recipe Reply with quote

Just received a new recipe, made it last night and everyone loved it. I will add a little rum for myself...

Hot Mulled Cider, By: P. Allen Smith
2 Quarts Apple Juice or Apple Cider
2 Cups Orange Juice
1 Cup Pineapple Juice
1/2 Cup Lemon Juice
1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
2 Cinnamon Sticks
2 Teaspoons Cloves
1 Teaspoon Allspice
1 Teaspoon Powdered Ginger
Orange Slices for Garnish


Start by combining the juices in a large pot. You can substitute the apple juice with apple cider. The difference between cider and juice, officially, is the cider is slightly fermented which makes it a bit effervescent and it contains a percentage of alcohol.

Add to the brew a half a cup of brown sugar, two cinnamon sticks, two teaspoons of cloves, one teaspoon of allspice and one teaspoon of powdered ginger. Now, cook all of this over medium heat until it begins to boil and then reduce the heat and let it simmer about 15 minutes longer.

To finish it off, garnish with a few fresh orange slices. This recipe makes enough for ten. As you can imagine, with all of these spices, the aroma is incredible. What better way to have your entire home to smell like the holidays and what a delicious treat for friends and family when they drop in. Enjoy!
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 22, 2009 8:59 pm    Post subject: Hmmmm, peppercorns...mmmmmm Reply with quote

I use a centrifugal juicer quite a bit, both for juicing and cooking.

Use 8-10 nice fresh SCRUBBED red apples (you want that touch of pithiness) per quart of juice.

Strain it (I use a fine strainer followed by a paper kitchen towel, be patient).

Follow this recipe but reduce peppers to 7, add 2 star anise (whole stars), 5 allspice and toast with the rest.

Use a tea strainer ball for the 'bitty bits'.

Bring to a simmer in a crockpot and simmer 1/2hr or so until it tastes good.

Strain. Return to crockpot set to 'warm'. Garnish with a clove stick, lemon slices and a death-star (nice touch). I use a Clemantine.

Serve with brown sugar and poisonous volatile hydrocarbons of choice.

A knob of butter during heating will trap the spice volatiles but I prefer an un-greasy drink. Do NOT boil above a gentle simmer, all the best flavors will boil off.
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 04, 2010 2:19 pm    Post subject: three words for you Reply with quote

crab apple jelly. add that to your mulled cider and it's brilliant.

Also I don't get this whole cider/juice thing... Here in Australia proper cider is made from proper cider apples and is alcoholic.

If pulpy apple juice is apple cider does that make pulpy orange juice orange cider?

lol I kid.
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 04, 2010 11:10 pm    Post subject: Love the cider! Reply with quote

I really love this recipe. Toasting the spices is key, and something I hadn't thought of.
I used cranberry juice instead of apple, and added a little honey to sweeten it, and it turned out really well.

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Joined: 24 Dec 2010
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Sun Dec 26, 2010 9:13 am    Post subject: Cider vs Juice Reply with quote

I work in a grocery store, and when it comes right down to it, the Cider and the Juice you can buy off the market shelf is pretty much the same thing. The Companies market it both ways to draw in customers from both crowds.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying I think it's the same. We have a local Historic orcherd here and every year they do a Cider Squeeze. True Cider has a cloudy apperence and a much richer (and less processed) taste. But True cider is not processed, not strained, not pasturised, and definately not shelf-stable. So the major companies have to find a way to make it so, or loose half their consumers.
Now a days some companies are coming out with true cider, even organic stuff. But for the best stuff I would look for near the produce department, and in refrigeration.

As for the recipe it sounds excelent. We tend to get the packets of Spiced Cider, but this might be a good alternative. I'll be giving it a try in the near future.
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