And speaking of cinnamon sticks and Christmas (see yesterday's blogpost), Marash Girl gave everyone but herself a packet of mulling spices for Christmas . . . but yesterday, when she was in her packing room packaging books to ship to Australia and other far flung corners of the world (does the world have corners), she found another stash of mulling spices and cinnamon sticks right where she had been packaging her Christmas gifts. Mulling spices for Marash Girl! Cool!
Having no apple cider in the house, and not really in the mood for chai like her mother made it (see http://marashgirl.blogspot.com/2010/12/on-making-chai.html), Marash Girl checked her refrigerator to see what was there . . . and there was only one cup of apple juice. Hmmmm...... Not wanting apple juice cold or warm or mulled, she decided to play a bit. Throwing a handful of mulling spices (which consisted of whole cloves, whole allspice, broken pieces of cinnamon sticks and dried orange peel) into a pot of water, and adding the cup of apple juice that was left in the refrigerator, she simmered the mixture for a bit, looking forward to the hot mulled drink that would result.
By all measures, delicious!
As long as you use an all natural apple juice -- no preservatives -- one of the advantages of mulling in this way (with apple juice, not apple cider) is that (1) it is close to impossible to find apple cider without preservatives, (2) it is close to impossible to find apple cider out of season, (3) it is far more costly to buy apple cider than apple juice, and finally, (4) the drink is one that is far less sweet and can be sipped throughout the afternoon just as you would tea. In fact, for elegance, you may try serving it (to yourself, if you are alone, or to guests, if you have them) in a fancy teapot! Much nicer than pouring the mulled concoction (whoops -- did you use wine rather than apple juice?) out of a stainless steel pan from the stove top.