Mulling things over

Mulled Apple and Grape Juice

I am a big fan of autumn, it’s a chance to break out my inadvisable knitwear and go on long walks through golden leafed woodlands. I know Bonfire Night is technically in November but it really ought to be in October when everything is dying in a flame of colour and smells deliciously smoky for no reason.

Well I’m getting carried away.

My point is that after all that stomping outdoors you need to come home to something delightfully warming. Like mulled apple juice. Spices and apples are ‘Autumn Things’ and you ought to drink as much of them as possible before it’s winter and everything is contaminated with dried fruit. You can tell I’m right because Starbucks have just announced that they will be selling apple and grape mulled drinks from the 20th of October. And Starbucks, whatever you may say about them, are the Kings of autumn drink making. Read more in the Metro.

With that in mind, here are some simple recipes for mulled apple and grape juices to get you through the cold months. Treat these as rough guides, I haven’t added any sweeteners because I find fruit juice very naturally sweet but you can add honey if you want a bit more sweetness and adjust the spice and citrus to your palate.

Mulled Apple Juice

1l cloudy apple juice

Strips of orange and lemon peel

1 cinnamon stick, plus extra to garnish, if you like

3 cloves

Splash of lemon juice

Simmer the apple juice with the strips of orange and lemon peel and spices for 5-10 minutes, add a splash of lemon juice if it tastes too sweet or honey if not sweet enough. Garnish with cinnamon sticks and serve.

Mulled Grape Juice

1 unwaxed orange

1 lemon, peel only

5 cloves

5 cardamom pods, bruised

1 cinnamon stick

Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg

1l of red grape juice
Peel and juice the orange, and add to a large saucepan along with the lemon peel and spices. Add enough grape juice to just cover, and heat gently, stirring occasionally. Bring to the boil and cook for 5 – 8 minutes until you have a thick syrup. Turn the heat down, and pour the rest of the grape juice into the saucepan, garnish and serve.

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