Monday, 13 December 2010

Cold Nights, Hot Cider

Mulled cider is back with a vengeance this year, which can only be good news. In recent years cider has tended to be marketed and drunk as a summer drink, but it used to be enjoyed year-round in country pubs. On cold nights it was served with ginger and/or gin, heated by the simple method of plunging a red hot poker into a cup, or in a metal ‘boot’ placed in the fire. 
Today you might find inventive bar staff making mulled cider with the milk-steaming gadget on a coffee machine.

You can also make mulled cider at home. Any old cider will do, although proper farmhouse screech has the best flavour. The essential ingredients are cider, sugar, a dash of something stronger and some spices, especially cloves and cinnamon. Otherwise it's up to you... 

This recipe is from the National Cider and Perry Collection at Middle Farm in Sussex 

4 pints of still, dry farmhouse cider
3 apples - washed, cored and sliced
2 oranges, washed and sliced
Juice and zest of 1 unwaxed lemon
2 tsp ground mixed spice
8 whole cloves
2 cinnamon quills snapped in half
6 tbsp light soft brown sugar

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