Mulled cider, a heated cider infused with spices, is a popular alternative to mulled wine that can be found throughout the Winter months. The warming, spiced beverage seems to have risen in popularity in the last few years, but in reality, it is much older than that.
The origins of mulled cider stem from an English Medieval Christmastide drinking ritual called Wassailing. Wassailing was a ceremony intended to ensure a good apple harvest. It involved singing, dancing and drinking to the health of trees on the Twelfth Night, the 5th January, and to ward away evil spirits that may ruin future harvests. Wassail comes from the Old English phrase waes hael, which means ‘good health.’ According to legend, wassail was served from 10-gallon bowls that were danced into the room whilst crowds sang a traditional wassailing carol, before serving the drink to those present. The original wassail drink was made from a mixture of mulled ale, curdled cream, roasted apples, eggs, cloves, spices and sugar. Sounds great, doesn’t it?
Don’t worry, our Firespice ready made mulled cider has come a long way since the days of wassailing and is sure to warm any numb fingers. It also comes in handy 5L boxes that keep for 4 weeks once opened.
Firespice is made with a blended base, around 75% dessert apple and 25% cider apple cider. We use our own homemade spice mix for mulling and finish it with fresh ginger and a hint of chilli. We don’t add too much sugar, so you can always add more if you have a sweet tooth!
Firespice has been created to give you a warm hug on a chilly winter’s night, or can be served from a thermos on an autumnal hike. Serve with a rich fruit cake or a warm fire for the ultimate satisfaction.
Below is our Firespice in the flesh - the perfect winter warmer.
If you fancy having a go at making your own mulled cider from scratch, take a look at our recipe and tips below.
Mulled Cider Tip
Before you get started, we’ve got a few tips that will help you make the perfect mulled cider
Choose your cider base carefully
- Make sure you’re using a still cider
- Keep in mind it doesn’t have to be too sweet – you can always add sugar (or honey) later
- How much tannin do you want? A really strong tannic cider might not be ideal and bitter flavours can get stronger when heated but a bit of tannin may help to bring out the warmth and depth.
We recommend Craftsman Bag and Box as a good balance of all the above.
1. Be careful not to boil or overheat the cider when mulling
- Toasting your spices before mulling will help to bring out the full flavour
- Use a small amount of cider to mull, then top up with fresh cider and just heat it through
- Use whole spices rather than ground spices as ground spices will create a grainy texture and a muddy coloured drink
- Choose a combination that you like and don’t add too many different ones
- Try experimenting with fresh ingredients like slice of lemon, orange zest, pineapple, ginger and apple juice
- Add a shot of rum to your Firespice or Calvados to classic mulled cider
- Rich fruit cake (or Christmas cake) is the perfect companion to mulled cider
- If you don’t fancy fruit cake, mince pies, Christmas pudding and cider brandy butter will all go down a treat
Mulled Cider Recipe
This is a sensationally simple, surprisingly quick recipe for a really authentic, warming mulled cider. If you do give our recipe a go, be sure to tag us in any pictures on social media!
If you fancy trying your hand at making mulled cider yourself, why not have a go at the below recipe.
1.5 litre dry cider
500ml fresh apple juice (not from concentrate)
zest of one orange in strips
2 sticks of cinnamon
1 small piece of nutmeg
2 tsp allspice
7 tbsp Calvados or better still English Cider Brandy
Demerara sugar or honey to taste
- Heat all the ingredients apart from the calvados and sugar and simmer very very gently for 30mins with the lid on.
- Turn off the heat and the spirit.
- Add honey or sugar to taste. You may not need this, so be sure to try your cider first.