Should you need a little something alcoholic to soothe the masses over the next few days, I highly recommend this hot mulled cider from Sarah Deming, mixologist and author of Iris, Messenger (a great holiday gift for children ages 9 to 109). Sarah presented this delightful take on traditional hot cider last Thursday as part of “Give Thanks to Spirits,” a cocktail-and-cheese pairing course at the iconic temple of dairy, Murray’s Cheese on Bleecker.
The drink gets its depth of flavor thanks to Nocino, an Italian liqueur distilled from walnuts. It’s widely available at wine and liquor stores (and online, of course.) Nut-allergic imbibers can substitute a little vanilla rum—we use Brinley Gold Vanilla Rum in these parts.
At the class, Taylor Cocalis, Murray’s Director of Events & Education (and superfan of American cheeses) paired this with a sharp and slightly bitter Bayley Hazen Blue, an award-winning raw milk blue cheese from Jasper Hill Farm in Vermont. If you’re not a blue cheese fan or happen not to have any in your crisper drawer, an aged, nutty Grana Padano or hunk of Parmigiano-Reggiano would sidle up nicely to it as well.
Hot Mulled Cider
Prep time: 5 minutes
Total time: 10 minutes
Makes one drink
- 4 fl. oz. (1/2 cup) apple cider
- 3/4 fl. oz. Nocino walnut liqueur
- 1/4 fl. oz. rye whiskey
- fresh nutmeg
Heat the cider in a small saucepan until steaming.
Pour the liquors into a heated mug or heat-proof glass, and top with the hot cider.
Grate fresh nutmeg to garnish and take a big sniff before you sip.