Christmas smells so good. Pine, cinnamon, brandy and orange scents fill the house and make simple activities feel special. Something this seemingly simple can make a huge difference to my sense of wellbeing. When I write the Christmas cards I make a batch of Hot Spiced Apple Cider and the smell makes the whole thing feel more festive. The kids will still puncture my festive peace with demands of “look at me” or “where’s my [insert impossibly tiny toy name here]” but with a festive drink in hand even that feels special. You can easily halve or double the recipe depending on how many mugs you want to make.
Makes 4 mugs
2 x 568ml bottles of apple cider
(substitute for cloudy apple juice if alcohol’s not your thing)
2 star anise
1 tsp ground nutmeg
- Peel the orange and put the zest into a saucepan along with the spices then pour over the cider.
- Warm the cider through on a low/medium heat for 20 minutes then strain through a fine sieve or cheesecloth and serve warm in mugs.