- Food & Drink
There are strict rules about mulling booze at Gin and Crumpets Towers:
1) Booze may only be mulled between 1st November and 31st December.
2) It is forbidden to mull wine before the 1st December.
3) Following the flaming pot incident, a damp tea towel must always be kept close at hand.
The first two rules are there to protect my enthusiasm for mulls (the third is to protect me; mulls burn with such pretty blue flames). I already have four invitations to mulled wine parties in December and if I was allowed to indulge my natural appetite for mulls, this seasonal glut would be a trial for my constitution rather than a period of happy gorging.
Because of these rules, Bonfire Night is now firmly associated with mulled cider. It keeps you warm and gives you the confidence to go back to the firework you lit but which doesn’t seem to have gone off and light it again (disclaimer: fireworks are dangerous and if you lose your eyes doing this, you only have yourself to blame). It’s better if you mull the cider a few hours ahead and give it time to develop, but as long as it’s steaming and contains rum, then it counts as a good mull.
Makes 6 generous mugs or 8 sensible cups
1 litre dry cider
1 litre apple juice
200ml dark rum (I used Lamb’s Navy Rum)
100g soft light brown sugar
1 eating apple
1 Pour the cider, apple juice and rum into a medium-sized pan. Stir in the sugar. Core and slice the apple and stick a few slices with the cloves. Add them to the pot.
2 Bring the cider to a very gentle simmer, then reduce the heat, cover with a tight fitting lid and simmer for 15 minutes. Cool for 5–10 minutes and then serve in heatproof mugs/cups.
You can leave it for a few hours to develop. If you do this, scoop out the now flabby slices of apple and replace them with fresh slices stuck with cloves before reheating. If you’re topping up the Mull over the course of the evening, core and quarter an apple, stick that with cloves and keep it in the pan. Resist the urge to throw in handfuls of loose cloves; someone always ends up coughing on a mouthful of them.