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.
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.