Mulled Cran-Apple Cider

Recipe

You don’t have to be a vegan to enjoy this tasty and hot beverage.  As we are in the full swing of Fall, I decided to choose a drink that many people enjoy during this time of year—especially because of the apple picking season that just passed.  It is also a very popular festive drink at holiday parties.  I retrieved this recipe from Dreena Burton’s book entitled Eat, Drink & be Vegan: Everyday Vegan Recipes Worth Celebrating.

Mulled Cran-Apple Cider

You will need:
-3 cups sweet apple cider (one suggestion is Santa Cruz Organic brand)
-1 cup pure unsweetened cranberry juice
-2 cinnamon sticks
-4-7 whole cloves
-1/2 tsp whole cardamom (or 1/4 tsp ground cardamom)
-1 tsp orange rind
-1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg (optional)
-1-2 tbsp agave nectar (or 2-3 pinches stevia) to taste (optional)
-cinnamon sticks (for garnish)

In a pot on medium-high heat, combine apple cider, cranberry juice, and cinnamon sticks.  In a fine mesh tea ball, place cloves, cardamom, and orange rind (alternatively, use a cheesecloth to hold spices, or leave spices loose and strain mixture before serving).  Add tea ball and nutmeg to cider mixture.  Bring to a low boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer uncovered for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Taste test, and sweeten with agave nectar if desired.  Serve in mugs, with a cinnamon stick to swizzle!

Makes 4 servings

To add even more excitement, the author suggests adding a few splashes of rum or brandy to individual servings.  She also mentions that the inclusion of cranberry juice brings a slight tartness to the sweet apple cider, while also giving it a wonderful red color.

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