Nothing is quite as comforting in the cold of winter as a glass of Glühwein (literally ‘glow wine’ from the hot irons used for heating the brew) unless, of course, it’s a mug of mulled cider! Inspired by an episode of Nigella’s Christmas Kitchen, Catherine Searle gives the traditional recipe an Irish-South African twist by using Orpens and naartjies.
One of Bruce Jack’s (many) innovative collaborations, Orpens is a seriously refreshing cider that possesses a distinct gravitas. Considered a close relative of beer, cider is actually produced more similarly to wine: the only difference is that this fermented beverage utilizes apples instead of grapes. And just as a fine wine has its origins in the vineyard, so too a great cider begins with its roots in the orchard. The varietals must be chosen carefully before a harmonious fresh juice can be pressed and barrel aged to craft an exceptionally balanced cider that is crisp and delectably different.
Commercial ciders generally use concentrate (apple juice exposed to high temperatures and pressure to remove most of its moisture, rendering the liquid thick & ‘stable’ for long periods) and the final product is heated to sterilize before bottling. Being a craft cider, Orpens is very different. Firstly it is made from freshly pressed juice. It also isn’t pasteurised nor are there any added flavours or colourants.
Making a mulled cider with the authentic natural deliciousness of this timeless drink makes all the difference.
- 3 x 330ml bottles of Orpens,
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 4 cardamom pods (crushed)
- 2 naartjies
- 4 whole cloves
- About half a cup of dark brown sugar
- A brewed cup of apple flavoured Rooibos tea
- A splash of rum
Pour the Orpens into a pot over medium heat. Halve the naartjies and impale each half with a clove. Add these to the cider with the other spices then stir in the tea, sugar and rum. Bring to the boil, simmer until all the sugar has dissolved.
Remove from the heat and enjoy!
Serves 4-6 people depending on the size the glasses but the recipe can easily be doubled to cater for more.
Because we really want to you to taste the difference a real craft makes, we’re running a giveaway throughout the month of August: every week you could win a 4 pack of Orpens by:
- signing up for a quarterly newsletter
- liking our Facebook page
- or by following us on Twitter or Instagram (search for @thedriftfarm)
Make sure to let us know that you have done so by leaving us a note in the comments section. Winners will be announced each Monday on Facebook and Twitter, starting August 10th. Good luck!
If you would like to order Orpens, you can do so here.