'Tis the season for warm drinks that warm your hands, your body and your entire house! As soon as I see that first leaf changing to a beautiful golden yellow I know it's time for my #1 favorite cocktail - Mulled Cider. Not only is this a wonderful drink to enjoy on a cold, blustery evening at home but it's a huge party pleaser and excellent to serve at a holiday get-together. (tip: serve one of these to each family member right as they walk in the door and I guarantee a relaxed and happy time.)
1 jug Apple Cider (get the good, locally made, expensive stuff. We get Stoney Ridge Farm Apple Cider from Haggen in Bellingham)
4-5 cinnamon sticks
1 tsp whole cloves
Generous drizzle of honey
Combine all ingredients BUT the rum in a large pot and bring to a simmer. Simmer for at least 2 hours. Your house will smell divine! Pour cider into one of your best mugs and top off with a shot of rum. I don't like to add my rum until the end. One time the alcohol burned off and I was so bummed I vowed never to make the same mistake. Also, It's totally OK if some of the cloves or cinnamon sticks get into the drink - makes it that much more festive.