Out of the whopping four seasonal beverages we introduced in our cafes this holiday season, one rose to become something of a sleeper hit among our customers. Meet our Mulled Coffee, a sweet and zingy concoction of cranberry juice infused with aromatic mulling spices, then blended with fresh filter coffee. The result is a beverage that warms you right down to your toes: disarmingly delicious, brilliantly balanced, and surprisingly satisfying. And great news for your holiday breakfast or brunch spread: you can absolutely recreate this drink at home!
In the spirit of spreading more joy this holiday season, we asked our Training Director Reyna Callejo to share a version of our cafe recipe that's been adapted for the home kitchen. She's fine-tuned this recipe with the precision and skill of a bartender finessing a cocktail: coffee lays the structural foundation, providing body, subtle bitterness, and depth of sweetness not unlike a high-quality, complex spirit. Cranberry juice lends bright fruitiness and a touch of tartness, all rounded out by warm, herbaceous mulling spices. And, as with any recipe, this can certainly be tweaked to suit your tastes — a little more cinnamon here, a little less cranberry juice there. As long as this cup of good cheer is enjoyed deeply, and in good company, we'll be satisfied.
Step 1: Gather your ingredients
For the mulled cranberry juice (yields about 6 oz):
1 cup (228g) cranberry juice
1/2 cup (100g) dark brown sugar
1/4 tsp ground cardamom
Pinch of salt
Pinch of pepper
2 sticks of cinnamon
1 star anise
1 thumb-sized knob of ginger
Orange for garnish
Ground cinnamon for garnish
Plus: coffee to make a 16 oz pour over (Holiday Blend works great here!)
Step 2: Mull that cranberry juice
Cut the knob of ginger into 1/2" pieces, smashing them to express the ginger aromatics. Callejo's pro tip: you can do this by laying a chef's knife flat side down on the ginger and carefully but firmly smacking it with the heel of your palm.
Add cranberry juice, dark brown sugar, salt, pepper, ground cardamom, cinnamon, and expressed ginger to small pot.
Bring to a boil over medium-high heat while stirring. Once boiling, reduce heat to low, cover, and let simmer for 10 minutes.
Step 3: Coffee time
While your mulled cranberry juice is simmering, prep your garnishes: one orange wheel, sliced in half, plus one orange peel garnish.
Remove mulled cranberry juice from heat and strain out the solids.
Step 4: Mugs at the ready!
Divide the pour over between two mugs, then add the mulled cranberry juice on top. One 8 oz pour over should be served with roughly 3 oz of mulled cranberry juice. Garnish with a sliver of orange and express the orange peel over top.
Serve and enjoy!