Smoky mulled cider with chipotle and Islay single malt Scotch A warming winter cocktail recipe with a hint of peppery heat

Smoky mulled cider with chipotle and Islay single malt Scotch

My take on the Hot Toddy – a Scotch cocktail with a perfect blend of smoke and spice

Old World meets New World in every sip of this exuberant mulled cider. The peaty aromas of Islay Scotch whiskies find their match here in the smoky, spicy chipotle pepper… the combination gives you a mulled cider that’s brimming with smoky notes, but also boasts a bit of heat! Of course, there are other wonderful spices in there, too. Cardamom, cinnamon and cloves round off the flavors and add layers of deliciousness to this most exhilarating cocktail.

One sip, and you’ll forget how cold it is outside!

So why not wrap your hands around a warm glass of this mulled cider, and let the addictive smokiness fill your nostrils and your palate?


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Chipotle pepper

Smoky mulled cider with chipotle and Islay single malt Scotch

makes 2 quarts or serves 6
active time: 10 min

  1. 8 cups apple cider or unsweetened apple juice
  2. 1 tablespoon organic sugar
  3. 1 whole dried chipotle pepper (Morita variety)
  4. 1 tablespoon cardamom pods
  5. 4 cinnamon sticks (3″ long)
  6. 4 cloves
  7. 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  8. 1 cup smoky Islay single malt Scotch (such as Ardbeg or Lagavulin)
  1. 1/2 apple – unpeeled, sliced crosswise in 1/8” slices (use a mandoline)

  1. Place the cider, sugar, chipotle, cardamom, cinnamon and cloves in a large heavy-bottomed pot and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Once boiling, reduce heat to low, cover the pot and slow-simmer for 30 minutes. Turn off the heat and let the pot stand covered for another 30 minutes to let the spices infuse. Strain the mixture through a fine-meshed sieve. Discard the spices and return the strained cider to the stove. Reheat over medium heat until very warm, but not boiling. Turn off the heat, add the lemon juice and Scotch and stir well. Using tall, narrow glasses, tuck an apple slice inside each glass. Top with the warm mulled cider and serve.

Viviane’s tip
  1. A single chipotle pepper is a tiny bundle of heat! If you want a hint of spice, keep the chipotle pepper whole (as called for in the recipe). But if you want a spicy cocktail, then cut the chipotle in 2 or 3 pieces. The seeds will impart their fieriness to the cider and make for a drink brimming with smoke and heat.

Smoky mulled cider with chipotle and Islay single malt Scotch

cocktails, mulled cider, scotch

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  • Reply angiesrecipes January 5, 2019 at 3:46 am

    Such a creative cocktail! Have never had one with chipotle! Happy New Year, Viviane!

    • Reply Viviane Bauquet Farre January 18, 2019 at 6:13 pm

      Thank you, Angie! And a very Happy New Year to you and yours!

  • Reply mjskit January 15, 2014 at 11:00 pm

    Oh I would easily wrap my hands around a glass of this! The aromas of all of those ingredients in one glass would open up all of the olfactory senses! So good!

  • Reply Serena January 8, 2014 at 12:36 am

    If the roads weren’t so icy, I’d drive to get some good smoky scotch. This is about the only thing that would warm me up now!

    • Reply Viviane January 8, 2014 at 8:43 am

      I’m with you on this one, Serena!

  • Reply Kristen @ The Endless Meal January 7, 2014 at 3:18 am

    Wow! This sounds so seriously delicious. If I had all the ingredients I’d be making it right this second. Will definitely be heading to the liquor store tomorrow 🙂

    • Reply Viviane January 7, 2014 at 8:57 am

      Thank you Kristen! It’s -15F here today… I think I’ll be making a batch of this mulled cider myself. Enjoy!

    Question or comment? I'd love to hear from you!