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Mulled cider

Our ancestors employed any method that might encourage their apple trees to be fruitful - singing and banging drums is as good an idea as any. It would seem rude to have such a party without some of the fruits of the tree and, since Twelfth Night is in January, a warm drink is bound to be better than a cold one.

Preparation 10mins Cook time 30mins Servings 4


  • 1 litre still cider
  • 1 glass of good apple juice
  • 6 cloves
  • 4 cinnamon sticks
  • 200ml sloe gin
  • 1 or 2 sliced oranges
  • honey or sugar to taste
  • 1 log fire


To make enough to serve 4, pour 1 litre still cider into a saucepan and add a glass of good apple juice if you like.

Add 6 cloves and 4 cinnamon sticks, cover and bring slowly to the boil.

As soon as it starts to simmer turn off the heat and add 200ml sloe gin (optional, but highly recommended) and 1 or 2 sliced oranges.

Taste, and add a little honey or sugar if you want.

Serve straight away... by a log fire.