Make Ahead

Delicately Fragrant Mulled Cider (in the Crock-Pot)

December  8, 2010
Photo by Bobbi Lin
Author Notes

I find most mulled things to be tongue-numbingly over-spiced, so this is pretty subtle (hey! you can tell there's apple under there somewhere!), but don't be too hasty to pile on extra spice, because the flavors do get stronger the longer it mulls. The recipe is a combination of ideas I found on the internet, inspiration from ingredients I happened to have on hand (the pear: a real winner), and memories of studding oranges with cloves as a child. A slow cooker makes for an easy, low-maintenance time, but you can also simmer this in a pot on the stove if you must. —ody

Test Kitchen Notes

This is the cider you want mulling in a corner of the kitchen all day long during colder months -- ideally in a slow-cooker (so you can ignore it), but warming on a back burner works too. You can dip in for a mug whenever a new visitor comes in from the chill, and the sweet perfume will beckon them to the kitchen. Ody's spicing is spare, so be sure to choose a great apple cider to start. Unlike more aggressively spiced ciders, you'll really be tasting apple, just tinged with pear, citrus, ginger and spice. - A&M —The Editors

  • Cook time 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Serves a crowd
  • 1 pear, not too soft; bosc highly recommended
  • 1 orange
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons whole cloves
  • 1 lemon
  • 3 to 5 whole allspice berries
  • 3 to 5 inches peeled fresh ginger root, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 medium stick of cinnamon (or a half of a large stick of cinnamon---they're easy to snap, especially if you have some holiday stress to get out!)
  • 2 to 3 gallons apple cider
In This Recipe
  1. You know your slow cooker best: Get this started in time to allow at least 30 minutes of simmering.
  2. Stud the pear and orange with cloves.
  3. Using a vegetable peeler or sharp knife, peel large pieces of rind from the lemon, trying to avoid the white pith. Give each piece a little twist to release some of the lemon oil.
  4. Put fruits and spices in your slow cooker, pour a gallon of cider over it all, and put it on high heat for a few hours, allowing for at least half an hour at a full simmer. As you drink the cider, top it off every now and then with new cider—the mixture can keep mulling and spicing all day.
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