When I think of the holidays, I reminisce upon valuable time spent with family, delicious food, and all of the memories and family traditions that get passed down. For me, a lot of my memories revolve around food and drink that would be etched in my memories during these joyful times. A traditional drink that we’d always have during this festive season was a mulled cider. Growing up in the Midwest, the weather outside during Christmas was cold and snowy. We always looked to our traditional cider as a source of warmth and absolute coziness. I decided to look to my roots and create a magical twist on a traditional drink and came up with a delicious Cranberry Mulled Cider.
The beginning of a new tradition
I decided to let my creativity flow and come up with a drink that’s warming, while also healing and delicious. For the mulling spices, I chose a combination of allspice powder, whole peppercorns, white peppercorns, clove cinnamon, and anise star. I then chose to add in a few herbal and adaptogenic allies to enhance the magical brew.
First, I added 5 pieces of reishi mushroom to the mixture. Reishi is calming and relaxing which is extremely helpful during the fast-paced holiday season. To sit back with a glass of cranberry mulled cider that not only warms the soul but relaxes as well is such a treat!
I also added a handful of rosehips to the recipe. Rosehips are extremely high in Vitamin C which is extremely helpful this time of year. Combined with Reishi, these two herbal allies help boost the immune system. This ensuring you have a relaxing and healthy holiday season.
Can I modify the recipe?
Traditionally when thinking about a mulled cider, it usually involves apple juice and oranges. With this cranberry mulled cider, I decided to use traditional mulling spice mixtures but used a cranberry juice base instead. The additional tartness from the cranberries makes the cider’s finished taste profile closer to that of wine.
However, if you are looking more for the mulled cider recipe that your family is familiar with, definitely feel free to modify! This recipe is a perfect base that allows for all creativity and magic to flow.
I also chose to add a little apple cider vinegar to the recipe to add to the taste profile. Some mulled ciders call for this, but definitely modify to make this drink as delicious as you want!
How can you mull the cider?
There are multiple ways you can get the mulling down for the cider. The first method is to use a slow cooker and heat the ingredients slowly. This usually takes four hours or so.
I chose to heat the ingredients until they boiled and then let them simmer and steep for about an hour. I feel this method provides the best extraction of flavors from the ingredients. The ingredients get the extra heat which brings out the quick flavors and the low, extended heat to round out.
I truly hope you enjoyed this recipe and you can enjoy it among loved ones this holiday season. Let me know your thoughts in the comment section below, or even better, take a picture of your cranberry mulled cider and tag me on Instagram (@mytinylagunakitchen). Happy Holidays!
This blog post sponsored by Mountain Rose Herbs, but all opinions are my own. Mountain Rose Herbs are organic, sustainable, high-quality herbs, adaptogens, spices, and botanical products. Making it easy for me to have a one-stop-shop. They are my go-to source for herbs, adaptogens, oils, and household staples for our pantry. Thank you for supporting the brands that help to support and keep the blog going.
- 4 cups of cranberry juice
- 4 cups of water
- 2 tbsp of apple cider vinegar
- 1 tbsp of dried ginger
- 1 teaspoon of allspice
- 1/2 tsp of black peppercorns
- 1 tsp of white peppercorns
- 5 of whole cloves
- 3 of sweet cinnamon sticks
- 5 pieces of anise star
- 10 crushed cardamom pods
- 5 reishi pieces (optional)
- 1/4 cup of rosehips (optional)
- If you need a little sweetener, feel free to add honey or maple syrup!
- This cider also pairs very well with sparkling water, for a bubbly drink!
- Put the juice and apple cider vinegar in a large soup pot, instant pot or slow cooker.
- Add the rest of the spices & herbal ingredients and bring up to a boil.
- Turn down the heat and let simmer for at least an hour.
- Strain before serving.