To be honest, I have never much been a fan of store bought Ciders. It simply isn’t flavorful enough for my tastes. I am a woman who likes a strong drink no matter what it is that I am drinking!
While in High School, a group of friends and I would get together for the Autumn and Winter holidays. Due to our religions it was always for a ritual of some sort, after which we would feast potluck style on some truly amazing foods. One of them, Hyle, always brought a jug of Apple Cider with her as a drink- and it was phenomenal despite being in a store container. For a long while, however, she would never tell us how she did it- and after I picked up the brand myself, I was sorely disappointed. This was definitely not the Cider she brought every month almost religiously!
Eventually- a couple years after we all graduated from High School- I found myself with my own house hosting our first Yule celebration as a group since graduating. Hyle was among those who attended, and just like she had for many years before, she brought her Cider. This time, however, she made it in my Kitchen and I was finally able to see the trick she had kept hidden from us for all those years.
All you need is a funnel, a stock pot large enough to hold a gallon of liquid, a box of individually wrapped Mulling Spice packets, and a gallon jug of store bought Cider of your choice.
Firstly follow the instructions on the mulling spices to determine what amount of spices you will need for a gallon of Cider. When you have that figured out, simply dump your store bought Cider into the stock pot and bring it up to a boil. But wait, don’t throw the empty Cider jug away! You will need that later.
After it boils for a good minute, turn the heat down low and allow it to simmer with the Mulling Spices in the pot. Let it simmer, stirring occasionally until it reaches the desired strength. Once it hits the desired strength, turn the heat off and let it cool completely.
At this point, I personally do not like the silt that comes in cider. As a result, I usually take the additional step to strain it out by carefully dumping the cider in a bowl with cheesecloth over it to catch what I can. You can skip this step if you like, however. Either way, afterwards next step is the same. Place your funnel in the mouth of the jug the cider came from, and carefully poor the cooled cider back into the original bottle.
Refrigerate, and you’re done!