I'm sure most of you have started decorating for Christmas and likely started on your Christmas shopping too! I'm trying to avoid as much of that as possible! I find Christmas to be very distracting and all-encompassing and right now I have to focus on writing my exam on December 17th. Sooooo Christmas doesn't really officially start for me until then! I did sneak out front to put my wreath up yesterday evening though while on a "study-break"!! So you can imagine that I'm a little bit excited to be testing a few Christmassy recipes when I really don't get to acknowledge the holiday season yet! :)
Warm Mulled Cider
Recipe Adapted from Chef Michael Smith's Chef at Home
- 1/2 cup of sugar
- 1 cup of water
- 8 cups fresh apple cider
- 1 orange
- handful of cloves
- a few cinnamon sticks
- several bay leaves
- branch or two of fresh rosemary
- splash of vanilla extract
- bottle of great chardonnay
- Place sugar in a tight pile in the centre of a large saucepot - large enough to hold the cider and the wine. Pour the water around it and begin heating the works over high heat. Don't stir or shake the pot! The sugar mixture will quickly form a syrup and come to a boil. Continue simmering as the water boils away. When the syrup begins to brown around the edges, swirl it gently until the resulting caramel turns a beautiful golden brown.
- Working quickly, and carefully, add the cider to shock the caramel and prevent it from further browning. It will spatter, so e careful. Bring entire mixture to a simmer.
- Pierce the orange skil with the cloves, forming an even pattern, then add to the cider. Add cinnamon, bay leaves, rosemary and vanilla. Continue simmering for another 30 minutes or so, until the cider reduces by a third.
- Add the wine and bring the mixture back to a simmer. Serve immediately in a festive mug. Garnish each serving with a fresh rosemary sprig and a cinnamon stick.
Definitely a yummy and festive drink! I hope you have enjoyed the first day of Christmas here on my blog! Stay tuned as we progress through the 12 days of Christmas and through a delicious and festive holiday menu! Coming up next are some great starters to serve to your guests while you're putting dinner together.