March 3rd was National Mulled Wine Day. Of course I celebrated it by making a cup. It made me feel like an old lady, but I did it. Now, here it is National Mulled Cider Day, and it occurs to me, “What is all this mulling about anyway?” When I made the Mulled Wine, I just followed the ingredients and went about my evening. Now, almost seven months later, it occurs to me to wonder, which part of what I did was the “mulling” part? Seriously, when do you ever hear about something getting mulled? Unlike specifying that something be served chilled or blackened, you really just don’t hear people doing it.
Perhaps, I should have left it alone, because it turns out that there wasn’t any crazy chemical conversion that happened when I mulled the wine. After minimal research, I discovered that the mulling was just the part where I added in the spices and heated the drink up. It also turns out that people have tried to mull just about everything. People mull milk, soda water, ginger ale, beer, orange juice, anything! There doesn’t seem to be any limit on what people have felt the need to mull. Basically, if you can pour it, you can mull it! The European folks of centuries ago just really liked hot cinnamon flavored drinks, I suppose. It’s probably how the smell of cinnamon became so synonymous with the Winter holidays.
It seems a little redundant to mull apple cider, though, doesn’t it? The fermentation process that creates cider from apples, already gives it a pretty spicy flavor, and if it’s hard cider we’re talking about, well now you’ve got a buzz ta boot! Really, how much sensation does one need to get from an apple, anyway? Frankly, the flavor was a little too much for me. Hot apple cider’s great, but this stuff not only popped me in the palate pretty hard, but it also left a bit of a funky aftertaste on my tongue. That was likely the orange rind doing that. The recipe I used didn’t say to, but if you’re interested in giving this weird stuff a shot, take this bit of advice, cut out the rind. Bleh.
Still, even though I’m not going to get much use out of my new-found mulling skills, it is good to know that apple cider is available year around at my grocery store. Frankly, I don’t know when I’ll need that knowledge, but when I found myself looking blankly at the fresh/refrigerated section of the grocery store, and I began to slowly realize that it was still a bit too early for apple ciders, it really caused me a bit of a panic till the cashier directed me to aisle 2. So, thanks National Mulled Cider Day!
See you Thursday for National Taco Day.