Well, here’s another mulled cider recipe that I can’t resist when the days are short and the weather is brisk. It’s got a warm, heady, slightly spicy profile thanks to a unique blend of cinnamon, cardamom, clove, and coriander (with a touch of vanilla bean for an added layer of sweetness).
You don’t have to put bourbon in this, but if you’re camping, tailgating, or enjoying a crackling fire at home (or in a cozy cabin), it’s exactly what you need. (Rum or cognac works, too.)
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This recipe is from my bestselling book, The New Camp Cookbook, which means that yes, the ingredients travel well and the drink is quick and easy to put together in camp. You can also make it at home ahead of time and tote it in a large thermos (just add a shot of bourbon to each mug before serving).
Double the recipe and it becomes a great party punch for cold nights, or bookmark it for when you need a fun new idea for a winter potluck. This is also the kind of “liquid layer” I love to bring along when my family heads into the forest to cut down a Christmas tree. (I make it for the kids, and carry a flask of bourbon for my husband and me.)
Vanilla and bourbon mulled cider
Makes 4 servings
1 quart apple cider
2 (3-inch) cinnamon sticks
4 cardamom pods, bruised
1/4 teaspoon coriander seeds
1 vanilla bean, split
1/2 cup bourbon (optional)
Add the cider and all of the spices to a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a simmer, reduce the heat, and steep for at least 30 minutes on low to let the flavors develop. Stir in the bourbon (if using) before serving.