Are you someone who loves to try different forms of juices? Well, then you must be aware of apple juice or apple cider. There is another very interesting way to enjoy apples in your glass, that too hot and not cold. This variation is called mulled cider. It is a spiced version and very good for health.
What Is Cider?
An obvious question arises in the mind when you hear the term mulled cider, what is it? It is a variation of cider. So the next thing we want to know is; what is cider? Cider is also an apple juice, but it is not a clear solution.
It is opaque as it has very fine apple particles suspended in it. The clear solution is made from a cider by filtering it many times. Cider is the unsweetened and unfiltered apple juice.
What Is Mulled Cider?
Now coming back to our discussion; what is mulled? The apple cider is cooked along with mulling spices. This spice is generally a mixture of cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and clove. Rarely star anise, peppercorn or even cardamom is added.
Dried fruits are also added at times to this mixture. The dried fruits can be raisins, apples or orange rind. They give a pulpy flavor to the drink. Mulled cider spices are available in packages with a premix in the relevant amounts needed.
Wondering how to make mulled cider? A pot of cider is placed on the flame with all these spices in a small amount. Remember to use these spices as a whole rather than finely grounded powder. The taste so created with these spices is best when had as a hot mulled cider.
Mulling spices are not only used for making mulled apple cider but also for making mulled wine, hippocras, wassail or e few more autumn or winter drinks. You may also be fascinated to know that this is the very same spice mixture used to make the spiced beer too. So these spices are very useful if kept at hand in the kitchen. They will certainly enhance the taste one notch above good whenever used wisely.
What Are The Benefits of Having A Mulled Cider?
- Relaxation effect: The first and very important benefit is that apple mulled cider is a very fragrant and healthy drink. It helps you relax and refresh even after a very tiring day at work. Relax and sit in a reclining chair; take a nice cup of a beverage of hot mulled cider; take small sips. You will feel it run down your throat and a sense of relaxation will take over your body. Though it is best enjoyed with family and friends, you can also choose to have it alone and get back some ‘Me Time’.
- Enhances cognitive skills: according to a study conducted by the University of Massachusetts states that the high level of antioxidants in this mulled cider is very helpful in improving the cognitive skills of the person.
- Prevents cancer and type 2 diabetes: the antioxidants and flavonoids present in this mulled cider help reduce the chances of having cancer or diabetes type 2.
- Prevents heart disease: the cider juice has approximately four times the level of polyphenols as present in the filtered apple juice so it helps reduce the chances of cancer as well as heart disease.
- Relief from constipation: the small amount of fiber present in this cider base and the presence of sorbitol (sugar alcohol) help in making bowel movement regular and loosen the stool. So it is a delicious way to get your tummy rolling.
- Healthy weight control: the small amount of fiber also helps maintain a healthy weight and heart. It works as a cleaning agent and takes out rubbish from our body in the form of stool.
- Regulates blood and brain functions: apples are a rich source of iron, this small amount goes a long way to help maintain a healthy functioning brain and a good flow of blood. Each glass of 8-ounce cider contains 2% of the daily requirement of iron of a body.
- Fruit content: we all may not like eating fruits daily but you will be relieved to know that one glass of apple cider will full fill your two servings of fruits of the daily requirement.
- Great for muscle strength: as we know to have a healthy muscle strength there is a daily requirement of potassium in our food. Up to 135 milligrams can be attained by consuming one glass of cider.
- Healthy immune system: mulled cider is also a rich source of vitamin C and this results in a strong immune system and cardiac health. This will also make your skin glow.
- Absorption of cholesterol in the body: pectin is found in apples, which is not reduced on making mulled cider as compared to the whole fruit. So this pectin is a helping agent that allows the easy absorption of cholesterol in the body.
Points to remember when making a mulled cider recipe:
Whenever you are trying to make any of the authentic things at home you can add a touch of your personality to the dish. But we suggest follow an easy mulled cider recipe as the base and then go on for a spin around it as you like. There are a few typical things we would like to suggest to you so that you get the best possible mulled cider for your use.
- Amount of apples: when you choose to make cider at home you must make a bigger amount so that you will save the effort of going on over the process each time. We know it is delicious and you will not stop at one glass. So just to be safe have a handsome quantity of apples, to begin with. The amount of juice you will get from the whole fruit will be quite lesser as compared to the whole fruit.
- Variety of fruits: firstly we would suggest you choose several different kinds of apples for the mulled cider. They must be good for baking and stay sturdy and not just meltdown. Also having different varieties of apples will help balance sweetness and tangy flavors found naturally in the apples more the different varieties you incorporate the better your mulled apple cider recipe will turn out.
- Ways of using oranges: many traditional people want you to use only the orange peel. But we suggest you use the whole orange fruit as it enhances the taste and the fiber content of your mulled cider. Another interesting way is to take a whole orange and pierce it with cloves all around and dip the whole in your cooking solution. It is just like the ones used to ward off mosquitoes.
- Use correct spices: though while making mulled cider you must try to use only the traditional spices like cinnamon, star anise, clove, and cardamom. But if you are in the mood of experimenting you can safely use ginger or berries and pink peppercorns. These will give a refreshing twist to your drink.
- Toast your spices: a very simple trick to enhance the flavors of your spices is to toast them before use. But you must be sure to stir them continuously and use a dry pan for this purpose. Also, avoid burning them as this will make the taste bitter rather than sweet.
- Add alcohol: if this mulled cider is for the consumption of adults-only then you may consider adding a small amount of alcohol to add a kick to your mulled cider. You can choose from a wide range of alcohols which go well with the apple flavor. You may choose from rum, apple whiskey, cinnamon schnapps, calvados etc. Remember to add the alcohol once it is off the flame as otherwise your alcohol will vaporize and do no good.
- Save mulling mixture: once you are happy and have a perfect blend of mulled cider for your taste then you must make a few small pouches of the mulling spices mixture and also write down the recipe with your little secrets so that each time you have a gathering you can make this awesome drink for your guests and family to enjoy. Also, you can have it for yourself to rewind and relax.
- Cider doughnuts: another very interesting style is to use this mulled cider in making doughnuts. We are sure these will be loved by one and all. Kids love to eat it that otherwise run away at the sight of fruits. So it is a clever way to get the fruits to their tummies as well as yours.
So go on and have a mulling session in your kitchen and enjoy it while still hot. Just a small thing to be kept in mind is that since it is a sweet drink it has a shelf life of only three days maximum.
Keep it out of the sun and heat, avoid contact with sunlight and store in a clean glass bottle. You can safely refrigerate it but do not freeze. You may be surprised to see in denature upon freezing.