MxMo XI: Sugarplum Brandy Cider

It’s a chilly 35 degrees outside in Portland, Ore. today—we have to hand it to Mother Nature for setting the mood for this month’s Winter Warmers theme. The following original recipe combines the seasonal flavor of apples and spice with the sweetness of summer plums. It’s easy to prepare for a group, and the cider-soaked citrus sections burst with flavor!

Imbibe‘s Sugarplum Brandy Cider

4 1/2 to 6 oz. plum brandy (we like local distiller, Clear Creek’s version)
24 oz. unsweetened apple cider
3 Tbsp. brown sugar
3 mandarin oranges, peeled and sectioned
6-9 whole cloves
3-4 cinnamon sticks

Combine ingredients in a large pot and warm on low heat for at least 30 minutes, watching to make sure it doesn’t boil. Ladle into cups, straining out spices or leaving them in, according to personal taste. Garnish with some of the cider-soaked orange sections and, optionally, a sugarplum (traditionally, a small round or disc-shaped candy). Serves six.

Thanks to everyone who posted at this Mixology Monday. Looking at other recipes, there are plenty of warming options to tide us over until spring, but we always welcome more! Check back in a couple of days for the full round-up.