A bonus recipe! Merry Christmas from your Galley Pirates. One of my favorite perks of the holidays down south is the arrival of Satsumas — sort of really big , easy-to-peel mandarin oranges, they ripen with the arrival of Thanksgiving and Christmas and make a nice, seasonal but fresh and fruity break between the hams and turkeys of the month. Tonight I pulled a bunch from the hammock for a marmalade to put on thick, juicy pork chops and brewed up a mulled cider on the side. So tune in tomorrow for the main dish, but enjoy a mocktail or cocktail in anticipation now.
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8 cups high-quality pure, unsweetened apple juice
2 cinnamon sticks
1 tablespoon chopped fresh ginger
½ teaspoon whole cloves
¼ teaspoon ground allspice
¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
4 to 5 small satsumas
Bourbon or seltzer
To make the mulled cider: In a medium pot, combine the first six ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 20 minutes. Once this smells gloriously spicy, remove from the heat and let it cool.
Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a jar. (Lacking a fine-mesh sieve, a coffee filter in a collapsible funnel worked fine!) This concentrate will keep in the icebox for a couple weeks.
When ready to serve, add ice to the glass, along with one shot of whiskey for the drinkers or an equal or slighter greater amount of seltzer for the mocktailers. Pour in the mulled cider and thoroughly squeeze in a generous half of a satsuma. Garnish with a fresh slice, cinnamon sticks from the cider, a sprig of rosemary, or whatever suits your holiday fancy. Cheers!
Satsuma Mulled Cider
- 8 cups high-quality unsweetened apple juice
- 2 sticks cinnamon
- 1 tbsp chopped fresh ginger
- 1/2 tsp whole cloves
- 1/4 tsp ground allspice
- 1/4 tsp grated nutmeg (fresh if possible)
- 4-5 small Satsumas or clementines
- Bourbon or seltzer
- To make the mulled cider, bring first six ingredients to a boil in a medium sauce pan. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes or so until fragrant. Remove from heat and let cool.
- Strain through a fine mesh sieve into a jar. This will keep in the icebox for a couple of weeks.
- To mix, add ice to a glass along with a shot of bourbon or 1-2 shots of seltzer. Add mulled cider and squeeze in half a satsuma. Garnish with another slice of satsuma and serve.