As the nights are becoming darker and weather is getting colder, many pubs will be introducing warmer drinks to their menu. Mulled cider is a popular autumn drink and a great addition to any drinks menu as a premium serve, or as part of a winter cocktail list. Not only will this tap into general premiumisation and experience trends, it will also appeal to the vast amount of cider drinkers in the market, which according to the Mintel Cider report 2017, is 53% of adults, (a number that continues to grow).
Drilling further into cider trends, apple is the dominant flavour, particularly in the South. According to CGA data, 86% of draught cider in the South is apple. This is great news when creating seasonal drinks for the coming months as apples are traditionally an autumn fruit and naturally pair well with winter flavours such as cinnamon, nutmeg and clove.
The history of hot mulled cider bears remarkable similarities to the old pagan tradition called Wassailing. The word ‘wassail’ comes from the Anglo-Saxon phrase ‘waes hael’, which means ‘good health’. The wassail was a drink made of mulled ale, curdled cream, roasted apples, eggs, cloves, ginger, nutmeg and sugar.
Add theatre to the bar
Using point of sale, such as chalkboards and a complimentary fragrant display, adds theatre to the bar and draws guests in with the comforting aroma of seasonal fruits and spices.
Why not be adventurous with cocktail names and serving styles over key dates? For example, you could give your brew a Halloween twist by calling it ‘witches brew’ and displaying it in a cauldron.
Make it a perfect serve
Just like any other cocktail, give your guests the drinking experience by serving a showstopper. Think about adding garnishes such as a cinnamon stick and an apple wedge and decide what glass or mug to use. Glass mugs are a great option for serving mulled cider to show the seasonal colours of the brew.
Make the most of outdoor space
If you have outdoor space, look at utilising this with heaters and a mulled cider bar. This could work particularly well if you are planning on holding outdoor events such as a firework display for bonfire night.
Train team members
Ensure your team are able to talk about the new product confidently and encourage guests to try. Offering tastings of the new brew can encourage guests to purchase a full glass.
We have recently added Weston’s Rosie’s Pig Engine Warmer to our range, available to all Business Partners to purchase. Engine Warmer is a mulled cloudy cider with a bitter sweet apple aroma. Smooth and rich with hints of cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves & citrus. This cider is ready to drink and will just need heating before serving.
We also stock a wide range of Thatcher’s products; the popular ‘Stan’s Trad’ can also be used to create your own mulled cider which is featured in the recipe below:
Stan’s Trad (6.0%)
It’s Stan’s traditional cider. Mellow from the time it spends in Thatcher’s oak vats, naturally hazy from the bittersweet apples carefully chosen for the blend and full on flavour.
2 litres of warm Thatchers ‘Stan Trad’
1 orange, sliced
1 lemon, sliced
1 apple, sliced
2 star anise
5 cloves (or half a teaspoon of ground cloves)
2 cinnamon sticks (or half a teaspoon of ground cinnamon)
8 slices of ginger (or 1 teaspoon of ground ginger)
5 tablespoons of soft brown sugar, to taste
How to make:
Mix all ingredients together and simmer gently for 30 minutes but make sure not to boil.
For extra spice, why not try with a dash of gin in the glass? Enjoy!
We also stock a further range of Thatcher’s ciders, available to all of our Business Partners:
Stan’s Cheddar Valley (6.0%)
With its distinctive orange hues, this smooth, robust, naturally cloudy cider is a Somerset tradition. For those who like oak-aged cider medium dry, Thatcher’s cider makers choose apples including Tremlett’s Bitter for its tannins, while Dabinett brings a rich full body.
Stan’s Big Apple (5.0%)
Big Apple is crafted from vintage bittersweet apples including Tremlett’s, Dabinett and Somerset Redstreak. Thather’s Big Apple is a traditional cider, full of flavour and big on personality. Medium dry, this still cider bursts with apple flavours and has a depth of character that only comes from generations of experience.
Thatcher’s Haze (4.5%)
Thatcher’s Haze is a cloudy premium cider crafted with Discovery, Falstaff, Gala and Jonagold apples to create a crisp sweet finish.