For Each Quart of Cider:
- 2 to 4 Tb brown sugar (optional)
- 4 whole cloves
- 2 whole allspice berries
- 1 stick cinnamon
Combine all ingredients in a crockpot or saucepan. Heat (but do not boil) on high until sugar is dissolved. In the crockpot, this takes about 20 to 30 minutes; on the stove, about 10 minutes. Turn down to low to keep warm. Keep covered so as not to allow too much liquid to evaporate. Remove spices if desired; the longer spices are left in, the stronger the "mulling."
Rather than make one large batch that gets spicer throughout the night, I'll make two quarts, and replenish cider and sugar when half the mulled cider is drunk. Refreshing the cider keeps the end of the concoction from becoming over-spiced.