Mull over what a handful of fresh cranberries can do.
Nothing says, “Maybe winter isn’t totally bleak after all!” like warm apple cider simmering on the stove, perfuming the air with the cozy smell of cloves, cinnamon, and other spices. And when one simple ingredient can take cider from brown to beautiful, even better.
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Enter fresh cranberries.
Just a small handful of fresh cranberries, which pop festively while cooking, turns the apple cider a gorgeous pink color. Simmered together with cinnamon, bay leaf, ginger, orange, and cloves, you will be serving up the best mulled apple cider — ever — in less than 15 minutes. You can also add a splash of liquor like bourbon, scotch, or rum if you like.
Strictly speaking, you can get away with a good mulled cider just with oranges and cinnamon. But using all the ingredients (which, frankly, is just as easy) makes something truly fabulous. This recipe makes about four to six mugs of cider, and is easily doubled. Use good-quality cider, and have fun serving this up at a holiday get-together — or for yourself.
What is your favorite holiday drink? Tell us in the comments, below.
Mulled Apple Cider With Fresh Cranberries
- 2 quarts good-quality apple cider
- 1/2 orange, sliced with rind
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 3 whole cloves
- 1/8 cup fresh cranberries, plus a few more for garnishes
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 bay leaf
- Place all ingredients in a medium-sized pot. Bring to a boil, then simmer, partially covered, for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally. The cranberries will pop as they cook.
- Strain through a fine mesh sieve into another pot or whatever you are serving the cider in.
- Ladle into mugs, and enjoy hot. Garnish each mug with one or two fresh cranberries.