In most countries, “cider” is fermented apple juice, but in the U.S. we call that “hard cider.” This recipe uses the unfiltered, unfermented apple juice you see in markets and farm stands. It gets more interesting thanks to calvados, French apple brandy.
This recipe has been adapted from the 2011 Gourmet Live Holiday Special Edition.
- 3 cups apple cider
- 2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
- 3 whole allspice berries
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg, freshly grated
- 4 whole cloves
- Two 3-inch cinnamon sticks, broken into pieces
- 1/2 Granny Smith or other tart apple, cored and sliced thinly
- 1/2 cup calvados or apple brandy, or to taste
Stir together the cider, brown sugar, spices, and apple in a saucepan. Simmer, covered, for 10 minutes, and stir in the calvados. Reheat just until hot and discard the whole spices. Divide the mulled cider among heated small mugs and garnish each with a few apple slices.