I spent Christmas in the stunningly beautiful area of St Lucia on South Africa’s north-east coast. Just to make you a little jealous, I saw:
and probably my favourite sighting, a group of zebras using each other as head-rests! (The zebra at the bottom of the pack looked none too happy about the arrangement.)
I must be honest though, I’m not sure that I will ever get used to Christmas in the sun. I know it’s sacrilegious to say, but I’d swap it all for snow, a log fire and a cozy pub.
Anyway, enough of my holiday ramblings and back to food. Or drink, on this occasion.
When I used to have a stall at the Jozi Food Market we used to sell gallons of this mulled apple juice in winter. Loosely based on a Nigella recipe, it might sound a little odd combining juice and herbal tea but I promise you, it works.
We used to sell this straight-up, non-alcoholic version and then for the adults, the option of a little added tot of ginger wine. It’s best made in advance and then reheated to give the spices time to really steep and flavour the juice.
I am entering this recipe into The One Ingredient Challenge which is co-hosted by Nazima of Franglais Kitchen and Laura of How to Cook Good Food as this month’s chosen ingredient is ginger.
Mulled Apple Juice
- 1 litre apple juice
- 250ml strong ginger tea (or other wintery herbal tea) (made from two teabags in 250ml water)
- 40 g soft brown sugar
- 1 orange
- 4 cloves
- 4 cardamom pods
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 2 bay leaves
- a few slices of fresh ginger
- ginger wine to serve (optional)
1. Gently heat the apple juice, tea and sugar and stir until the sugar dissolves.
2. Cut the orange into slices and add half to the pan, reserving the rest for serving. Add the spices, bay leaves and fresh ginger.
3. Bring the mixture just to the boil then turn off and set aside to steep. Strain to remove the spices and reheat before serving. Serve in glasses topped with a fresh slice of orange and a dash of ginger wine if you wish.