There is nothing better on a cool fall evening or holiday open house than Rum-spiked Mulled Apple Cider. It makes the whole house smell deliciously wonderful and there's just enough booze to warm you from the inside out.
1gallonfresh cider or organic unfiltered apple juice
1medium orange - cut into 1/4 inch rounds
11 1/2-inch piece peeled fresh ginger, cut into 1/4 in cubes
43-inch cinnamon sticks
2whole star anise pods
1 1/2cupsdark rum - good quality
Orange slices - for serving (optional)
Pour the cider into a 5-quart or larger stock pot or larger slow cooker.
Add the orange, ginger, and cinnamon to the pot.
Place cloves and star anise pods in a double layer of cheesecloth (or in a pinch a coffee filter will work), gather it up and tie closed with kitchen twine or a twist tie.
Cover the pot or slow cooker and cook until the flavors come together. For the stove top version cook for about 45 minutes to an hour. In a slow cooker, you'll want to heat for 2 - 4 hours on LOW.
Add rum and stir to combine.
Serve immediately or keep warm. Serve in coffee mugs
If you are serving a crowd that consists of kids and adults, don't add the rum to the pot or slow cooker. Serve the rum on the side.Tips:
Buy fresh apple cider or organic unfiltered apple juice for the best flavor.
Cider can be kept tightly sealed in a glass jar for about a week (assuming the original cider would still be good). Just make sure to remove all the spices prior to refrigerating. Discard mulled cider by the cider expiration date.