Jamie: "It wouldn't be Christmas without mulled something, whether I make wine or cider, its just one of those things that tells me I'm home and it's Christmas. I know there are loads of packaged mulled wine and cider flavourings in the shops these days but honestly, it's not hard to make this from scratch so please don't cheat! Just pick up a few bottles of decent Scrumpy and give this a try. You'll be simmering away most of the alcohol so if the kids want a taste, it's ok to give them a little glass."
Pour all of the cider into a large pan on a low heat and warm it through for a few minutes. Add all of the spices and fruit juices and turn the heat up. Once boiling, turn down to a simmer and leave to tick away for 5 to 8 minutes. As everything infuses you'll get the most delicious layers of flavour. Just because this is a glorified Christmas punch doesn't mean you don't taste it like you would a sauce. Pay attention and add a few tablespoons of sugar to taste. You don't want it to be sweet; you just want the sugar to join up all the different spices so you get a harmonious taste.
When you are happy with the flavours, ladle the mulled cider into glasses or mugs and serve while warm and delicious. Personally I think it's nice to leave bits of spices floating around in the cider when you serve it but if you want yours clear and perfect just pour it into the glasses through a sieve.
© Jamie Oliver
Photography © David Loftus
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