Is there anyone in the world (besides Ebenezer Scrooge) who doesn’t love the insta-holiday mood created by sipping hot apple cider? It’s like jingle bells for your taste buds.
Served alongside delicious holiday cookies and some background Christmas tunes, it’s one of our favorite holiday traditions.
“Having a pot of mulled cider on the stove will fill your home with the smell of the holidays before you even pop anything in the oven,” says Cooking Channel star Kelsey Nixon. “It’s easy to throw together and always a big hit for a drink option at the dinner table or alongside a piece of pie afterwards. I always like to start with a good apple cider base that my family picks up during our annual apple picking trip.”
Make a big batch of Kelsey’s apple cider recipe for your upcoming Christmas party (with a spiked version too, of course). It’s a guaranteed crowd-pleaser.
Yield: 4 drinks
4 cups fresh apple cider
6 cloves, plus more for garnish
2 cinnamon sticks
1 star anise
Zest of 1 orange, plus wedges for garnish
2 ounces Grade A pure maple syrup
Boil the cider to 175 degrees F.
Add the cloves, cinnamon sticks, star anise and orange zest. Remove from the heat and add the maple syrup. Stir.
Strain the cider into mugs. Garnish with orange wedges studded with cloves.