This is a lovely warming drink for autumn and winter parties, and great as a non-alcoholic option, or “mocktail”. Fragrant with spices and the natural sweetness of apples, it makes your kitchen smell delicious. Alternatively, you can also use this recipe to make mulled cider, and just switch in cider for the apple juice. Taste it as you go along, to make sure it is the right level of sweetness and strength of spicing. I use our Shipton Mill apple juice, pressed from our apples from the garden. Because our apple juice tends to be naturally sweet it doesn’t need any sugar, but you can sweeten yours with a bit of honey or soft brown sugar if it needs it. Garnish each drink with a slice of fresh orange and a cinnamon stick to serve.
Pour your apple juice into a large saucepan over a medium-low heat, and add your spices. Squeeze in a dash of fresh lemon or orange juice, and add a couple of quarters of orange so the peel can infuse. Stir occasionally. Heat gently, until the flavours have infused. If the flavours become too strong and the juice reduces over the heat, you can always dilute it with a little water.
Serve warm, in mugs or heat-proof glasses, with a garnish of fresh orange and a cinnamon stick.