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A holiday recipe for hot mulled cider with Tea

I discovered a fantastic winter drink in the festive season a few years ago. I was concocting a holiday tea brew suitable for both sipping as a tea and a latte. Of course, I was thinking about the spices that one puts in hot cider when I developed the blend which I now call Holiday Harmony Spice. Yes, it is delicious as a tea. The base is a China black tea with lots of cinnamon (which some of you fans will recognize as the Cinnfully Cinnamon I have on the shelf)! I added cloves and then some more tea with ginger. Then I added the orange zest, both chunky and finely grated and dried. I wasn't so sure about adding star of anise, but I tried a little with and without and I definitely preferred the blend with the anise.

[caption id="attachment_974" align="aligncenter" width="500"]Tea and Spices for Mulling Tea and Spices for Mulling[/caption]

The tea is great by itself, but hot mulled cider this time of year is so special! I decided to use the tea blend in a tea sachet in the cider. I allowed it to brew the entire time the cider was heating slowly with thin orange slices on top.

[caption id="attachment_984" align="aligncenter" width="500"]Tea sachets Tea sachets[/caption]

'Mull' means to heat and spice. The cider is an opaque liquid, slightly pinkish and with the tea brewing in it, it is slightly darker when fully brewed. When I have served it to company, they comment that is is noticeably different from mulled cider.

[caption id="attachment_1867" align="aligncenter" width="500"]This will set the holiday mood! This will set the holiday mood![/caption]

Here's the non-alcoholic recipe for you to try (wine lovers will want to scroll down to the bottom of the page for the belly-warming version of this drink):

Lady Baker's Hot Mulled Cider

8 cups cider (get it at your local Farmers' Market if you can)

1/2 cup brown sugar (optional, depending on the tartness of the cider)

1/4 cup Harmony Holiday Spice blend in a tea sac or mulling sac

1 orange thinly sliced and set on top

Put all ingredients in a slow cooker on low in the morning. Through the afternoon, take off the lid and let the aroma waft throughout your house. This will also cool it down a little for serving. When your guests arrive, serve in wine glasses or cups. You can also heat in a large pot on low on the stove for a few hours. The slow heating and brewing is exceptionally delicious and hits the spot.

If you want to serve a hot mulled wine as well, this is how I suggest you do it.

Lady Baker's Hot Mulled Wine

1 bottle red wine

2 cups boiling water

1/4 cup Harmony Holiday Spice blend in a tea sac or mulling sac

1/2 cup brown sugar (optional)

1 orange thinly sliced

Brew the tea blend and the orange slices in the water for 10 min. Remove tea blend. Add the brewed tea and orange slices to the wine in a crock pot and heat slowly. Enjoy!

If you give either of these recipes a try please leave me a comment below to let me know what you think, or come over to Facebook or Twitter and share a picture of you serving up your hot mulled cider or wine with me. Happy holidays!

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