To kick of Christmas and the decoration of our tree last week, we made some mulled cider. Here is how:

Mulling Spices

1 mandarin orange, or other orange

6 cardamom pods

1 tbsp cloves, whole

1 tbsp allspice, whole

12 cinnamon sticks of a small-average size

1. Eat orange but keep skin

2. Bake orange skin in toaster oven on 400degrees until golden and hard, but not brittle and burned

3. In a mortar, open cardamom pods and remove seeds. Crush some, but not all, to release flavour but not make into dust

4. Add remaining spices along with 1 tsp of orange peel, broken into little bits (reserve remaining skin for your next batch)

5. Tie into cheesecloth or like bag so it can be used in mulling. You can also use a few tea strainers in the same way. Cinnamon sticks can go free.

Mulled Cider or Mulled Wine

4L of apple cider or wine*

1. Dump the cider/wine into a large pot

2. Add mulling spices (in bag or tea balls) and cinnamon sticks. Heat to boil and simmer 25 minutes or more.

3. Serve warm.

*Note, you can use all of this at once, or do 4 smaller batches of 1L each.