From the "Holiday Cocktails" cookbook by Nick Mautone.
December 19, 2018 by Nick Mautone
Hot Spiked Cider
For the Drunken Fruit
8 large dried apple rings
small handful of dried currants
4 ounces calvados or applejack
For the Drink
64 ounces fresh apple cider
12 whole cloves
6 whole star anise
3 cinnamon sticks
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
2 tablespoons brown sugar, for dredging the apple slices
24 ounces dark rum
8 extra-long cinnamon sticks
Soaking the dried apples in calvados or applejack adds a kick to this smooth, mellow rum drink.
Place the dried apples and the currants, if using, in a large zippered plastic bag, add the calvados, and seal the bag. Allow to steep in the refrigerator overnight.
When ready to serve, gently warm the cider and spices in a pot - do not allow the mixture to boil. Meanwhile, remove the apple slices from the plastic bag and dredge each in the brown sugar.
Pour a healthy shot of rum into each mug and add the cider. (I don't mind if the mulling spices get into the finished drink, but if you prefer your drink without the spices, you can pour the cider through a fine-mesh strainer into the mugs.) Float a sugared apple slice on top of each drink, spoon the currants over the apples, add a cinnamon stick, and serve.