A cook's life: Mulled apple cider with rum

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Well I think I have to break down and admit the holiday season have begun. I know this because I have a tree sitting in the living room, which my wife must light up every chance possible. Stockings are up and even the lights are in the windows.

The second reason is the 1,000 lbs of turkey sitting in freezers, walk in coolers and inside ovens at work at the moment. Turkey at work means life is busy! The tree at home is just cute and calming. We love Christmas!

We always love visiting with friends or family and being handed that traditional cup of cider. I love the smell of it almost as much as the flavour. Small traditions create memories. Nothing is more warming on a cold frosty day — it’s the perfect holiday drink.

You can make this simple recipe with fresh apple juice you made yourself, or buy an unfiltered variety from the store. I love the addition of maple syrup from Quebec. This can be made with two different alcohols — rum or brandy both work well. I didn’t get to try today’s as I added some rum to it. Carlito on the restaurant line seemed quite pleased with the flavours though. The wife will put the stamp of approval on it this evening.


  • 4 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 cardamom pod (crushed)
  • 8 allspice berries
  • 6-7 cloves
  • 2 tangerines
  • 1 lemon
  • ½ cup maple syrup
  • 8 cups apple juice (unfiltered)
  • ½ cup spiced rum


You will require the tangerine and lemon zest for the cider. Wash the three fruits well under warm water. Slice off the skins and try to remove all the white part from the inner skin — it will add a bitter note. Place a large pot onto a hot fire. Once it has heated up add the spices. Toss them around with a wooden spoon to toast them a little — don’t over do it. This will bring out the oils and add more flavours to the cider. Add the citrus zest, maple syrup and apple juice. Bring to a boil then reduce the heat to a simmer. Walk away for half an hour. Taste it. Adjust the maple syrup if you desire so and add the rum. Strain out the spices and zest. Serve with a cinnamon stick in each glass.



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