Wanted: Thistly Mulled Cider-makers this Winter!

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When the temperature really starts to fall, it’s time for a hot, fragrant, flavorful drink to soothe and warm the cockles. And that’s why in this blog, Thistly is all about the mulling.

Thistly Cross offers something cider-tastic for the customer all year round, but over the cold weather period, we provide a whole new world of mulled cider fun. Mulling alcohol is all about creating a taste sensation. In “ye olden days”, it was a practical way to make rough, spoiled alcohol taste a whole lot better and so, mulling became a spicy tradition beloved to cold Northern climates.

At Thistly, we have seen a hundred fold increase in cider sold for mulling and the hot cider ideas get hotter every year! So keep it simple and tasty and don’t over heat the mix (over heating burns off the flavour and the cider can spoil ifOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA kept warm for too long). The cider can be mulled in a batch; the wintery flavors steep in the jeely pan as it cools, and then reheat by the cup when required – a coffee machine milk steamer or microwave is just the trick. Serve in a sturdy glass, or a cup on a saucer with a few slices of citrus on the side for a satisfying, warming drink.

It’s best not get too fancy with your flavours, so keep it simple: some cider, a shot of something special (sweet apple juice or spirit) and some essential botanical bits and pieces. Take your pick from the best loved around the world: cinnamon sticks, nutmeg, the odd juniper berry, honey, lemon or orange (whole or peel), a few cloves, cardamom… or check out a Thistly favourite recipe below. The real fun starts when it’s time to chose the cider and any one will do, as long its Thistly! Our 5L or 20L bag-in-box is the perfect format and offers a cost effective, practical dispense. Imagine the Thistly Whisky Cask warmed with a clove-studded lemon gingerbib5Land drizzle of honey, our Traditional 4.4% steeped in cinnamon and orange, or Thistly’s Ginger cider served with a shot of Edinburgh Gin Spiced Orange. You can also try blending our Elderflower 0.5% cider with some apple juice for a lighter, sweeter drink. Have fun, be inventive and enjoy the variety that Thistly Cross Ciders offer. Leftover mulled cider is great for poaching fruit to make an intense fruit pudding or a rich, decadent pouring sauce. And at the end of the day, when the cider is all gone, the leftover mix can be put back into the jeely pan to make an exotic, spicy mulled jam.

Part of the fun is in the experimentation, so whatever flavours make it into your finished cider, join us and become a Thistly Mulled Cidermaker for the winter – happy mulling! 

warm up rectThistly’s Favourite Mulled Cider Recipe!

  • 4 cardamom pods, lightly crushed
  • 1 Clementine, sliced into wedges, spiked with 4 cloves
  • 1 lemon, sliced into wedges, spiked with 4 cloves
  • A big dram
  • And a bigger dram of Edinburgh Gin Spiced Orange
  • A 3 tbsp dollop of honey
  • 1 litre Thistly Cross ginger cider
  • 4 cinnamon sticks
  • freshly grated nutmeg to garnish
  1. Gently heat all of the ingredients over a low heat in a cider kettle or pan.
  2. Strain and pour the mulled cider into a glass or mug.
  3. Finish with some freshly grated nutmeg and fresh slice of lemon or orange.

The Thistly Cross Cider Range and Scottish Apple Juice are permanently stocked in 5L and 20L BIB Cider boxes so head to our online shop at www.thistlycrosscider.co.uk, or contact info@thistlycrosscider.co.uk for further details.