I grew up in cranberry country. This was a recipe that was passed to our family by a cranberry growing family and I totally took it for granted that everyone drank mulled cranberry cider during the winter. We always had some in the fridge that could be warmed up on a moment’s notice. It’s tart, sweet, and the spices warm you up from the inside out.
As I got older, this recipe fell by the wayside. It’s been almost ten years since I last made it and I decided to resurrect it this year. This is a great cider to have warm on the stovetop during holiday parties and also makes a great homemade gift.
When I made it this time around, I was a little flustered and accidentally quadrupled the recipe. Oops. Instead of ending up with a half gallon, I ended up with 2 1/2 gallons. Want to know the funny part? After our cookie baking party on Saturday and giving some away as a gift, I am now out of cranberry cider so will have to make a new batch this week so we can serve it at our party next weekend. This time I am going to quadruple it on purpose. People just can’t seem to get enough of the stuff!
Mulled Cranberry Cider
1 quart Ocean Spray cranberry juice *
2/3 cup sugar
1 stick of cinnamon
8-10 whole cloves
2 lipton tea bags
6 cups boiling water
2 tablespoons lemon juice
*I promote Ocean Spray because we have an Ocean Spray plant near our town. I also promote finding the ‘no sugar added’ version. If you pick a juice that has added sugars, I recommend reducing the amount of sugar you add.
- In a large saucepan, mix together the cranberry juice, cinnamon stick, cloves, and sugar. Heat on medium heat for one hour. Do not let it boil.
- Place tea bags in a heat resistant bowl. Pour boiling water over tea bags. Let sit for 5-8 minutes. Remove tea bags.
- Combine tea and cranberry mixture. Add lemon juice.
- Serve warm with cinnamon sticks.
I am a little biased, but I absolutely love this stuff. The lemon and the cranberry give it a nice tart aftertaste while sugar, cinnamon, and cloves really round out the flavor so you have sweet, spicy, and tart all together.
This is a great drink to have available at parties for kids and other non-drinkers. Simply pour it into a small pot and keep it on medium heat on the stove or keep it warm in a crockpot. Leave out a ladle, coffee mugs, and cinnamon sticks, then let the guests do the rest. We went through about a gallon of this during cookie baking on Saturday and it was competing against mimosas.
This also makes a great homemade gift. Pour into a glass jar, tie it up with some ribbon and cinnamon sticks. It sure beats getting more cookies! I mean, I love cookies as much as the next person, but this is a much more un-expected type of gift.
What’s your favorite non-cookie homemade gift?