Planning on spending this weekend on the slopes? Maybe you’ll take to the neighborhood hill with your kiddos for a little sledding? Or maybe, just maybe, you’ll have a nice quiet weekend to yourself with a great book.

Whatever your weekend plans, is there really anything better than just taking a little time to enjoy a nice, warm beverage while the snow swirls outside?

Mulled cider has been a winter tradition for centuries, but here in Vermont, we always like to add our own spin on things. So, here’s our special recipe, which, of course, features pure local maple syrup.

Not only does it make the already wonderful aroma of mulled cider that much better, but it also adds a nice layer of sweetness to what I consider the ultimate comfort drink.

Enjoy!

Mulled Cider
2 quarts apple cider
1 cup pure Vermont maple syrup
1 stick cinnamon
A few whole cloves
one-fourth teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg
Lemon and orange slices, cut in half, for garnish

Combine cider, syrup, cinnamon and cloves and heat thoroughly, but do not boil. Remove cloves and serve hot, garnished with a half lemon and half orange slice.

Written by Shawn Calley, executive chef at the Essex Resort & Spa.

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