This Halloween I’m going to spice things up with Spiked Hot Mulled Cider. I served a variation of this recipe at my wedding reception years ago which is in November. The punch recipe is hot apple cider with spices and Burgundy wine. The warm spiced apple cider is soothing and flavorful and the red wine is not overwhelming. I’ve kept the recipe for this punch all these years and made it again this week for a dinner party.Never toss out a good recipe. The hot apple cider punch was very popular at my “do-it-yourself” wedding reception years ago. I’ve kept the recipe all these years thinking I might use it again. And I made it this week for a dinner party. It was a hit again! The recipe doesn’t have to be made for Halloween, it is good any time of the fall or winter. The hot cider adds an aromatic fruit flavor and the red wine and spices balance the flavors.
For my wedding recipe here in Louisiana, my father brought a gallon of unpasteurized, freshly pressed apple cider from a local apple press mill in Virginia. If you can locate some of this cider, it’s worth it. This cider has a very pronounced apple flavor. Both my parents were raised in deeply religious homes where drinking alcohol was strictly forbidden. I guess my father didn’t realized that I had added red wine to the punch. He drank alot of the spiked mulled cider–and by the end of the day got a little tipsy! Fun memories.
Making the Recipe
This recipe is surprisingly easy to make. Just add all the ingredients to a large pot on the stove and warm up. Don’t boil. I kept the punch warm in a coffee percolator during the wedding reception. If you don’t like loose spices in the punch, place the whole cloves and all spice in a loose tea strainer or ball. I used dark brown sugar in the punch which adds a wonderful molasses flavor.
My recipe does not include cinnamon, orange juice or pineapple juice — ingredients often added to punches. I wanted the punch to reflect the aromatic flavors of the apple cider; I find that cinnamon and orange juice change the character of a punch. But add a cinnamon stick and orange slices if you like.
The original recipe calls for inexpensive Burgundy wine. What’s that? I don’t have an extensive knowledge of wines. And so I found that Burgundy wine refers to wine which comes from a specific region of France–Burgundy. Two varieties of grapes are the main ones grown in this region – Chardonnay grapes which results in a white wine and Pinoit noir grapes resulting in red wine. The wines from the Burgundy region of France are some of the most expensive wines in the world. Well, I don’t need an expensive wine in this punch. And so I substituted a very, very inexpensive Cabernet Sauvignon wine — a dry and full-bodied red wine.
To add to the ambiance of the dinner party, hostess Marie used a fun and artsy alligator-wine bottle holder as a center piece. Perfect for Louisiana. For wine lovers, here’s a unique table decoration. I love it and wish I had one, too.
Here’s my recipe for the punch which is adapted from several old recipes–I don’t even know the source. Enjoy!
Spiked Hot Mulled Cider by MayleesKitchen
- 2 quarts apple cider, unpasteruized preferred
- 750 ml bottle inexpensive Cabernet Sauvignon
- 1 cup dark brown sugar
- 1 tsp whole cloves
- 1 tsp all spice
Method and Steps:
- Add apple cider, wine and dark brown sugar to large pot on stove.
- Add cloves and all spice to the pot. If desired, place cloves and all spice in tea strainer or ball before adding to the pot..
- Heat over medium heat, stirring to dissolve brown sugar. Do not boil.
- When the punch becomes steamy and the brown sugar dissolves, reduce heat to low and continue to simmer until ready to serve.
- Pour into individual mugs and serve. Or transfer to a coffee percolator or heated chafing dish or insulated beverage server and place on buffet table along with serving cups for hot beverages for self-service.