Boozy Mulled Cider: The Franklin Stove

October 24, 2013

When he's not busy running the cocktail program at New York City's Maialino, Erik Lombardo is giving us the rundown on all things spirits -- and showing us the best ways to drink them.

Today: Turn down the thermostat, sit out on the porch; this mulled cider drink will warm you from the inside out.  

Franklin Stove on Food52

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As the shadows lengthen and the leaves make their way across the sidewalks, our after-work drink of choice veers steadily away from something bright and refreshing and toward something like the equivalent of slowly sinking into a steaming Jacuzzi. For the lucky few this means crackling fireplaces, but for the rest of us who insulate our window frames with tape and towels, it means a certain drink: the Franklin Stove.

Mulling alcoholic beverages with herbs and spices goes far back in history, and in fact today’s mulled cider is a descendent of the English Wassail, a warm beverage made from combining sugar, ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, and cider made from last year’s apples. All of that would be topped with slices of toast and drunk from a ceremonial bowl in the orchard to ensure the success of the coming harvest. There would be singing to the trees. Symbolic sacrifices of toast. 

Don't have that kind of time? The Franklin Stove requires you to do none of this.

More: Another reason to add booze to your apples: this Apple Rye Punch.

Franklin Stove on Food52

While the cider used in these ceremonies was English cider, which is always alcoholic and more like beer, there is something to be said for the use of fresh pressed apple cider combined with the above ingredients and some base spirit; an alcoholic warm apple pie in a glass. The problem is, very few of us have the time or patience to muddle everything in a saucepan for 15 minutes for a mug or two of boozy pie, no matter how intoxicatingly delicious. Enter SNAP and Allspice Dram.

Allspice Dram is a cordial steeped with Caribbean allspice, that miraculous dried berry that combines the flavors of cinnamon, nutmeg and clove. SNAP is a boutique spirit made in Pennsylvania that adds the flavors of molasses, ginger, vanilla, and rooibos tea. The cider can be heated either in a saucepan in minutes or in a microwave in seconds and the alcoholic ingredients (with a little fortification from our old friend applejack) added at the last minute both spice and spike the brew.

The drink is named after Ben Franklin’s invention of an efficient fireplace and stove that could easily warm a room even in the dead of a colonial winter. And as you feel the warmth from this cocktail spread from your chest to your extremities, tip a toast to him. 

Franklin Stove a.k.a. Boozy Mulled Cider 

Serves 1

1 ounce Applejack
1 ounce SNAP
1/4 ounce Allspice Dram, or a sprinkle of fresh allspice
5 ounces hot apple cider
Orange twist studded with clove, for garnish 

See the full recipe (and save and print it) here. 

Photos by James Ransom

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  • Gina
  • Kt4
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Erik Lombardo

Written by: Erik Lombardo


Gina December 17, 2013
Made this last weekend for a holiday party (sans the dram--just sprinkled a little allspice on top--since I had already spent too much time tracking down SNAP and Applejack) and it was a big hit. I simmered the cider with some mulling spices first. Sweet up front but then it smooths out, and the Applejack and SNAP add some unexpected flavors.
Kt4 November 7, 2013
what is "SNAP"? i've never heard of it.
Gina December 17, 2013
SNAP is made by Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction in Philly. It's like ginger snaps in the form of a liqueur:
bethan October 27, 2013
If you can get hold of it (most people in the UK should be able to) Weston's Old Rosie cider is perfect for mulling and it packs a punch too!
breanne October 24, 2013
I'd love to actually make this recipe, without relying on purchasing the premade ingredient mixes... could such a recipe be found/shared? Thanks!!