Aquavit & Spiced Cider

"The beagle stretched out his paws moving them millimetres closer to the grate, where the glowing embers provided the warmth his injured paw craved. He took a sip from the mug of hot cider and aquavit that the fox had ladled from a pan on the stove. The warmth and the spice soothed him from the inside out and he let out an involuntary squeak of pleasure." - Christmas with Fox & Beagle

The Scandinavians know a thing or two about surviving cold winters, so we turn to them for this Sunday's winter warmer.

Mulled cider has been growing in popularity in recent years and can often be found alongside mulled wine at a Christmas market. For those that aren't a fan of mulled wine (the beagle included) a spiked mulled cider is a less sickly sweet, less cloying alternative.

A pan of this spiced cider bubbling away on the stove, when combined with a splash of Nordic spirit, provides a warm welcome at this time of year.

Aquavit and Spiced Cider

makes four servings
60ml aquavit
600ml of cider
50ml spiced honey syrup
40ml fresh lemon juice

Add aquavit to a mug and set aside. Combine other ingredients in a pan and warm gently. Ladle into the mugs with the aquavit and garnish with a lemon wheel and a star anise pod.

Spiced Honey Syrup - Blend 10g black peppercorns, 5g cardamom pods, 5g star anise, a pinch of allspice and 500ml of rich honey syrup (1.5 parts honey to 1 part water) and leave overnight. Strain into a sterile bottle and keep (in the fridge) for up to one week.

Want to know why the beagle is squeaking?

This recipe, this story and several more feature in our Christmas with Fox & Beagle book.
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