As the days get colder and Christmas gets closer the warming tipples are coming to the forefront. Almost everywhere you look the seasonal beverages are being promoted - across tv channels, social media platforms, store fronts, restaurants and bars. You simply can't get away from the tempting creations being produced that are available for our consumption at all hours of the day.
Mulled wine is a classic seasonal drink, originating from the 2nd century when Romans would heat wine to fight off illness through the cold winters. As they went on to conquer Europe their love for the drink found most popular across their empire and with those whom they traded.However for many people it isn't so appealing, like myself. Having never been an extensive fan of wine, it has always been assumed mulled wine would fall into the same category.
In the last few years mulled cider has become a predominant trend across social media in the leading days up to Christmas. Mulled cider or originally known as Wassail was principally drunk in a traditional ceremony in cider producing counties in the South East of England. Participants would sing and drink to the trees in the hopes of an exceptional harvest the following year. Although harvesting season is in the Autumn the beverage is often associated with Yuletide. Like mulled wine, perhaps it was used to help defend their bodies through the cold winter days.
Due to social media growing it's popularity it is a drink that is becoming ever more attractive across the ages compared to mulled wine. Maybe due to it's accessibility as a drink as it is lighter compared to wine, therefore making it the more superior option for a great deal of people through the festive season.
This year I re-found my love for cider and have come across many recipes to mull the beverages and so in the spirit of Christmas I decided to give it a go. Here is how to make your own mulled cider on the cheap - just to help you spread those pennies on the more important things.
What you'll need:
Fair-trade light brown soft sugar
1. Measure out 1 litre of Cider into your slow cooker. We used Tesco's own brand canned cider costing at £1.25 a litre - 4x440ml costs £2.20
2. Add 1 tbsp of your Fair-trade light brown soft sugar - £1.40 for 500g bag
3. Measure 100ml of golden rum and add to the slow cooker - £15 for 70cl bottle
4. Add 4 whole cloves - £0.85p per 30g
5. Add 2 whole cinnamon sticks - £0.85p per 12g
6. Slice 3cm piece of fresh ginger and add to the mix - £1.89 per 0.7kg
7. Slice two unpeeled clementines into thin rounds and add to the slow cooker - £0.79p per 600g
8. Leave the cider to mull for around 30 mins on a low - medium heat
9. Pour into glasses and share with family and friends
This recipe makes enough mulled cider for 5 people and costing at approximately £5.17 per batch it certainly is a winner. The cost is based on Tesco's current prices - if you are looking to buy all from new it would cost just over £20.
Happy cider mulling.