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Make your own mulled cider and wine for a cold-weather treat

To add a seasonal touch to your next party, consider making your own mulled cider and wine when you do your party planning. If you own a crock pot or slow cooker, it's incredibly easy.

Mulled wine will make the whole house smell spicy and welcoming, and it's the perfect beverage to sip when it's cold outside. Another perk is that it's a great way to make inexpensive red wines (even boxed) taste wonderful.

Pour in two bottles of red wine and set the slow cooker to a medium heat (if the wine boils, all the alcohol will burn off). Don't let the temperature get over 140 degrees.

Add one large, peeled lemon, a tablespoon of orange zest, two tablespoons of honey, 12 cloves and two large cinnamon sticks. You could even add a dash of freshly ground black pepper for a kick. Allow the mixture to heat for about half an hour. Strain and serve warm, with cinnamon sticks for garnish.

The same technique can be used to create mulled cider. Heat a gallon of your favorite apple cider in the slow cooker. Tie one teaspoon of whole cloves, one teaspoon of allspice and 3 cinnamon sticks into a square of cheesecloth and add to the pot. Allow to heat at approximately 140 degrees for half an hour and serve warm.ADNFCR-2319-ID-19411875-ADNFCR

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