This is very similar to my mulled cider recipe here, but I have given it a Christmas tweak.
You can totally make a non-alcoholic version of this to make it family friendly, just substitute the cider for apple juice (and leave out any rum or brandy!)
I love creating recipes that make me think of cozy evenings in front of a crackling log fire, with perhaps snow falling outside, or a storm raging on a winter’s night, while I am warm and snuggly inside!
If a snow storm was raging outside and you are indeed sitting by that crackling log fire, then this will definitely warm the soul too.
1.5 litres of hard dry cider (use good quality apple juice if making a non-alcoholic version)
0.5 litres of pure cranberry juice
3-4 cinnamon sticks
2 star anise
1 orange, stuck with 10 cloves
1 punnet of fresh cranberries
¼ fresh nutmeg – grated
2 small apples, cored and cut into chunks
2 clementines, cut into segments
½ cup (packed) brown sugar
Maple syrup or honey – adjust to preferred level of sweetness
Brandy or rum to spike – optional
Add everything, except the maple syrup or rum if using and heat gently over a low to medium heat and allow all the flavours to mingle. Leave on a low heat for around 20 minutes. Don’t allow the cider to boil. You can also do this in a crockpot or slow cooker if you have one. Taste and add a little maple syrup or honey to sweeten a little.
Serve hot in heatproof glasses or mason jars with a shot of brandy or rum if desired and decorated with a cinnamon stick.
The non-alcohol version would be lovely for Christmas morning, opening presents with the children.