We’re ready to raise a glass!
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Nigella Lawson on a designed background
Credit: Getty Images / David M. Benett

With the air getting chilly and friends and family swinging by to celebrate the season, we're always on the lookout for simple ways to enjoy the holidays. We're fixing up customizable hot chocolate boards and heating up our favorite twists on the classic hot toddy—whatever it takes to stay warm and cozy.

Now we're adding Nigella Lawson's Mulled Cider to our wintry drink rotation. Lawson's super-fruity take on the classic drink is packed with flavor, since Lawson uses ginger tea, clementines, cloves, cinnamon sticks, bay leaves and bruised cardamom pods. 

To make this recipe, Lawson starts with four cups of hard cider, plus dark rum and herbal apple-ginger tea in a saucepan over low heat. (You might also want to try this recipe in the slow cooker for especially hands-off mulling, like in our recipe for Slow-Cooker Hot Cider with Brandy.) She also adds in dark brown sugar for a little extra sweetness. Then, as a sneaky way to keep yourself from having to fish out the cloves when this cider is finished, Lawson slices two clementines in half and stuffs a clove in the fruit before dropping them into the pot. The cinnamon and other spices follow. Lawson brings the cider almost to a boil, then lowers the heat and serves up glasses.

If you want to make a nonalcoholic version of the cider, Lawson suggests swapping in apple juice for hard apple cider and freshly squeezed lemon juice for the dark rum. If making the hot drink without alcohol, you can probably skip the brown sugar—just make sure you have a sip before you make a decision.

You can even make this special drink ahead of time if you want to have a jug in the fridge for last-minute entertaining. Simply strain the cider and keep it in the refrigerator for two days. (While you could leave in the cinnamon sticks for a photogenic touch, Lawson says you'll want to ditch the cloves before you let them steep too long.) To reheat, just warm up the cider in a saucepan without letting it boil.

We've got a few cider recipes if you need some more holiday inspiration—our nonalcoholic Fireside Mulled Cider uses fresh ginger for a little kick, while this Hot Cider with Apple Brandy & Spices adds allspice berries to the mix for a deeper wintry spice flavor. If you prefer whiskey to brandy or rum, you could try this Big-Batch Hot Bourbon Cocktail with Maple & Apple Cider. No matter what you use to toast the season, just make sure it's something that makes you feel as comforted and cozy as possible.