Saturday, December 26, 2009

Nigella's Mulled Cider--A Perfect Winter Tradition & "Simple Saturday Sipper"

Did everyone have a wonderful holiday? I know I did--lots of fun, family and food, wonderful food. Although I was not as bad as I easily could have been today, I definitely need to get back on track and balanced again next week. Our Christmas dinners tend not to be very traditional--this year we mainly did finger foods or appetizers; turkey and beef meatballs, sausages wrapped in bacon, stuffed red potatoes, taquitos, a variety of dips and spreads, smoked turkey (courtesy of my brother-in-law's new smoker) and ham along with mini breads and sandwich fixings, and fruit and veggie plates. I was too busy drinking a couple of cups of my sister's sangria and having a bite of most everything to take pictures but trust me it was all delicious. For dessert, my sugar limits were pushed with a piece each of a few of my favorites from the many candy plates sitting about--toffee, coconut balls, mint meltaway fudge. There was no shortage of good food at our celebration so I suppose that is what makes up our holiday traditions.

Speaking of "Traditions" it is our theme for I Heart Cooking Clubs this week. When I looked for my Nigella recipe, I was wasn't sure exactly what to look for but I knew I wanted something quick and easy to make before I left on my trip to Portland. I ended up choosing one of my traditional favorite winter beverages, Mulled Cider. Nigella's version is quick, easy and delicious so it is also perfect to do double-duty as this week's "Simple Saturday Sipper" Besides, how could I resist mulled cider with a shot of dark rum in it?!

This recipe can be found at the Food Network site here

Mulled Cider
Nigella Lawson
(Yields 6 Servings)

1 pint (16 fluid ounces) cider
2 fluid ounces dark rum
9 fluid ounces apple and ginger tea, from herbal tea bag (I used Red Zinger tea instead and added about a teaspoon of minced fresh ginger)
1 1/2 ounces soft dark brown sugar
2 clementines
4 cloves
2 sticks cinnamon
2 fresh bay leaves
2 cardamom pods

Pour the cider, rum and herbal tea into a wide saucepan. Add the sugar and place the saucepan over a low heat. Slice the clementines in half and stick a clove into each half. Add the clementines to the pan. Break the cinnamon sticks in half. Add the cinnamon, bay leaves and cardamom pods to the saucepan. Heat the saucepan until the mixture is almost boiling. Turn down the heat once the pan is near to boiling.

To serve, ladle the mulled cider into heatproof glasses with handles.

Notes/Results: Delicious, simple and flavorful. Amazingly, even in my too-large tea collection I had no apple-ginger herbal tea so I substituted Red Zinger tea which gave the drink its dark red color. I also added a bit of minced fresh ginger to the mix. I liked the combination of flavors in the mulled cider and think that the Red Zinger added an extra layer of flavor with its hibiscus, rose hips, peppermint and cherry bark. I will make this one again.

You can check out which dishes are traditions for the other IHCC participants by going to the IHCC site (here) and following the links to their posts.


  1. This sounds delicious! Perhaps I sense the start of a new traditional drink for you guys?

    Your dinner sounds like so much fun! I love the idea of mixing it up every year. Glad to hear you had such a great holiday.

  2. Deb, a timely sipper for all of us on the mainland of USA. Nothing warms the body & soul like a mug of Mulled Cider. Hope you are enjoying POTUS, FOTUS & all the White House groupies on the island.

  3. What a great mulled cider. I would love to have some of this today. I am going to ask C to pick some cider up if he can find it.
    Love all the flavours, I don't have red zinger but I do have a cranberry herbal tea that should do the trick.
    So glad that your holiday has been a fun one.

  4. Oh does this ever sound good!!! Happy Holidays to you.

  5. Love to read about the happy hols filled with love,joy ,good food and happy precious memories...
    And with that this gorgeous mulled cider...
    i did try a mulled wine but am only into v sweet dessert wines and urs sounds fantastic....
    happy hols...

  6. ds great. A belated happy holiday to you, and thanks for all the time I have enjoyed spending with your blog. Suzie XX

  7. This is definitely one I'd make into a tradition...sounds so great! So does your holiday food!! :D

  8. This sounds wonderful! I find in the winter around here that I have to have a warm drink with me at all times. I need to experiment more with mulled ciders to fufill this craving. :)

  9. I have cider. I have rum. I know what I am having this afternoon! It looks so delicious.


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