In these days of budget living, I’ve discovered I can have all the taste of hot apple cider, at a fraction of the cost.

Nothing puts me in the Christmas spirit more than tasty beverages (read holiday nog, cocoa, and cider). The warmth of a steaming mugful of cheer quickly chases away the icy chill (usually present at this time of year), and reminds me of the important things: hope, peace, joy and love.

The advent of the Christ child lingers near and into the night, in the cozy glow of the lights on the tree and the simple joys of a shared cup of cheer.

Mulled Apple Juice

2 cups of apple juice

1 cinnamon stick

1 scant handful of cloves

1 scant handful of allspice berries

4 lemon slices

4 orange slices

1 handful of cranberries

1) Put apple juice, spices and citrus into a stockpot and bring to a boil

2) Remove from heat, add cranberries and let stand 15 minutes

3)Serve in your favorite mug

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