Hot spicy apple juice
Everyone knows about mulled wine (vin chaud, glühwein etc), that stalwart of Christmas parties, but there’s another winter special we have at our house: hot spicy apple juice. It’s perfect for anyone who doesn’t or can’t drink alcohol.
This is what you need:
1 litre of cloudy apple juice. (You can use the very cheap clear type as well, but the cloudy stuff tastes best)
1 cinnamon stick, broken up
1 heaped teaspoonful of whole cloves
1 inch of fresh ginger root, peeled and roughly chopped
That’s your basic mix. Heat it till it begins to boil, then turn off, cover and leave to infuse for about half an hour. Then reheat and serve in heat proof glasses, mugs, cups or goblets if you happen to be a woodland elf. Don’t leave simmering because you’ll destroy the vitamin C in the juice.
You can add other spices: all spice berries, juniper, galangal ( if you can find it), star anise, lemongrass and others according to taste. Go easy at first until you know how spicy you like it. You can also add honey to sweeten, and chopped up fruit (apples, pears, oranges, lemons). It’s a delightful thing to drink on a cold day, and the spices are good for you; most contain a lot of little researched benefits for the health. You can do the same with cider and have an alcoholic appley treat.