ISSUE 98  |  Hardscape The Easy Way

DIY: Mulled Apple Cider, With a Secret Ingredient

November 22, 2013 11:00 AM

BY Erin Boyle

Cold nights need warm drinks; the kind you can linger over. Olivia Rae James has been warming up her nights with a boozy, citrusy take on mulled cider. Spiked with red wine, this mulled cider gets a combination of sweet and spice from the addition of grapefruit, apples, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. We’re planning to keep a big pot on the stove this Thanksgiving. And don’t be surprised if you see us taking an evening walk, thermos in hand. To warm the heart cockles, we say.

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Photographs by Olivia Rae James. Original photography shot with the Canon EOS 5D Mark III digital SLR. The filmmaker’s camera.

Above: Apples and grapefruit inspection courtesy of Olivia’s pup, Frankie.

Above: Whole and ground spices.

Above: Grapefruit and apple halves.

Above: The ingredients combined and ready for heating.

Above: Mulled cider, served and ready to be enjoyed. 

Above: Cider for two.

Mulled Apple Cider

Serves 6


  • 3 cups fresh-squeezed apple juice
  • 2 cups dry red wine
  • 1 grapefruit, thinly sliced (can be substituted for your citrus of choice)
  • 1 apple, thinly sliced
  • Cinnamon (whole and ground)
  • Nutmeg (whole and ground)
  • Cloves (whole and ground)


Combine apple juice and red wine in a pot over low to medium heat. Add sliced grapefruit, apple, and a handful of cinnamon sticks, cloves and nutmeg, according to taste. Let simmer for at least ten minutes. Add ground cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves (if necessary, to taste). Serve warm.

Apple cocktails must be in season: see our recent recipe for The Ethicurean Apple Flip.