Here is a twist on the traditional mulled cider or wine, a mulled saison. A saison (also spelt Saision depending on where you come from), is a beer that derives from Wallonia, one of the French-speaking parts of Belgium. As with Porter (beer) it got its name from the people who favoured it. Saison (or Saision) means season and as such the saison was named after seasonal summer farm workers who loved the stuff.
So why mulled Sasion? Well, it was a worthy experiment after trying to mull other beers and finding that many were just a little too bitter and didn’t really work for me. To my taste buds there is a hint of the cider about saisons and therefore it seemed obvious that it would mull well. With a few little tweaks it really does and if you can find any, it is a great drink to offer your guests as they enter your house from the cold winter outside. By making mulled saison you are turning a summer drink into something that can be enjoyed in the winter.
1 bottle of Saison (may I recommend this one from Arbor)
1 cinnamon stick
shavings of nutmeg
quarter of an orange
a few juniper berries
a few cloves
1 star anise
1 heaped teaspoon honey
Pour one third of the bottle into a small saucepan and simmer gently. Slowly add the spices, the orange and the honey. Keep it simmering until there is only a small sauce/syrup at the bottom of the pan then add the rest of saison and heat gently for a few minutes.
Serve in teacups with a twist of citrus peel.