Spooky season’s arrived! The weather is getting colder, the leaves are changing, and Halloween is just around the corner. That makes this the perfect time to enjoy some apple cider and a warm fresh donut. But who wants to have basic cold apple cider from a jug when they need to warm up after a broomstick ride? Nobody!
This mulled apple cider recipe is the perfect thing to warm up whether you’ve been flying past the moon or picking pumpkins from the patch this fall. And it’s easy enough for even beginner witches to easily make. So follow along with this spooky fun in Cosmic Cuisine: Witches Brew!
- 1/2 Gallon Apple Cider (8 Cups)
- 1 Orange (zest and fruit)
- 1 tsp freshly grated Ginger
- 4 Cinnamon Sticks
- 1/4 tsp Ground All-Spice
- 1/4 tsp Ground Nutmeg
- Wash and dry the orange. Zest the orange and set the zest aside in a bowl.
- Slice the orange into thin circles.
- Peel the ginger and grate it until you have 1tsp, place in the bowl with the zest.
- Place a large pot on the stove over medium-high heat. Add the apple cider.
- Add the orange zest and ginger. Also add the orange slices and cinnamon sticks.
- Measure 1/4 tsp each of ground all-spice and ground nutmeg. Add them to the pot and stir until everything is well mixed.
- Bring the cider to a boil then reduce the heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes.
- If desired, strain the cider, but it isn't necessary.
- Serve warm.
- If you're having a party this recipe can easily be doubled, tripled, etc. for a large group. Use multiple pots if necessary.
- If you want, alcohol can be added, I recommend adding it to individual cups instead of the brewing pot. Whiskey is a perfect fall pairing but whatever your favorite liquor is will work fine. Just remember to drink responsibly if you do imbibe.
- Don't be afraid to think of this recipe as a starting point. If you want more ginger add it. Not a fan, skip it. More cinnamon, toss it in. Have fun.
- The cider can stay over heat longer if you want. Just remember the flavors will grow stronger the longer the cider is cooked.
- The cider can be stored in the fridge for about one week. Remove the orange slices and cinnamon to store it or the flavors will intensify.
- As mentioned in the recipe, the cider can be strained before serving but it isn't necessary, it's kind of down to preference.
- The orange slices and cinnamon sticks make nice garnishes in mugs!
My special taste for this mulled apple cider recipe
There are almost as many recipes out there for mulled cider as there are people making mulled cider. It makes sense because everyone has their own favorite flavors. For instance, most recipes include cloves. But I can’t stand cloves, I think their flavor is cloying and overpowering. So there are no cloves in my witch’s brew. Similarly, I love oranges and ginger so they feature prominently in my Cosmic Cuisine witch’s brew.
The fun part about this recipe is that there’s no baking. Now that didn’t come out right, I LOVE baking. I bake all the time. But baking is a science, the recipe needs to be followed or the result will likely be inedible. However cooking is an art, changes in recipes are rarely catastrophic so that allows lots of wiggle room and space for personality to shine through.
I do recommend following the recipe the first time, it is important to know what it is supposed to taste like so you can know where you want to make changes. After that, have fun, use the recipe as a jumping-off point and try what you love, make it yours.
Allow time for flavors to meld in your Witch’s Brew
Don’t be afraid to start this early and leave it warming on the back burner. I know the recipe says it only needs 15 to 20 minutes to simmer but the longer it simmers the more the flavors will meld and intensify. Leaving it on low heat longer will only improve the brew. However, if you leave it on too long and too much water boils off, just add a little back to keep it from becoming too overpowering.
If you can’t find cinnamon sticks (they tend to be hard to find, although this is the right season for them), or don’t want to spend the money (they are expensive) then you can use regular powdered cinnamon. The substitution is 1 tsp of cinnamon per cinnamon stick. Just make sure that all the powder gets fully mixed into the cider. Cinnamon has a tendency to clump up in liquids.
For extra warmth on cold and spooky October night
Now this brew was made to be enjoyed by everyone. No alcohol is included in the recipe but if you want to add some I recommend adding individual shots to mugs. It can be dangerous to add alcohol to a drink that is still being cooked down. This is because the alcohol can become more potent due to the water lost to evaporation.
There was a great deal of debate in our household over which type of alcohol paired best with the witch’s brew. The majority felt that whiskey paired best. It is a very warm spirit that brings fall to mind. A very vocal minority felt that vodka was best because of its lack of taste to interfere with the cider. A tentative compromise was reached when we agreed that anything would work and it was up to the individual drinker. Just make sure that if you imbibe you do so responsibly. I don’t want anyone becoming a spirit because of some spirits!
This Witch’s Brew is the perfect comfort drink or Halloween party treat
So put on your comfy hoodie, slip on your fuzzy slippers, and shake out your favorite blanket. Brew up some of this yummy cider and settle in to watch a spooky movie or read your favorite book. There is simply nothing better.
Of course, this drink is great no matter what you are doing this fall. If you are planning on a big Halloween party and want some, break out the crockpot and leave it on warm for everyone to enjoy. It will make your whole home smell amazing too! Let this witch’s brew cast a spell of warmth and comfort on you this season. And perfect for your first or fifth viewing of Hocus Pocus 2, a Disney+ exclusive!
If you cook up some Witch’s Brew, let us know your thoughts on social media! And check out our latest Comic Cuisine, a recipe that is out of this world!