mulled pomegranate cider with vanilla + rosemary

Mulled pomegranate cider with vanilla + rosemary via thefirstmess.compin it!

This post is sponsored by Bai Brands.

Mulled pomegranate cider with vanilla + rosemary via thefirstmess.compin it!Mulled pomegranate cider with vanilla + rosemary via thefirstmess.compin it!
While I totally agree with this sentiment under certain holiday circumstances, I’m a firm believer that most people (who partake in alcohol) are at their best after 1 or 2 drinks. They tend to be more talkative, more in the moment, and just the right amount of relaxed. I enjoy a boozy cocktail sometimes, but it’s not a sustainable imbibe for me. I don’t know about you, but once I go beyond the first two, I’m toast. I either sneak away from the party area and casually search out a chill spot for a nap OR I keep going and the vibe is sort of like this slash this.

I’m appreciative of a party host/ drinking establishment that offers interesting non-alcoholic options. I can’t really put it away like I used to (see above) and I think it’s an extension of hospitality that shows sincere care. In a restaurant/bar scenario, the prime revenue stream/tip generator is booze. A conscious decision to offer an inspired option for the teetotalers among us shows true commitment and principle. That action shows a higher ambition than profit generation, which I can dig.

This past summer, my man and I really got into the sparkling and regular beverage options from Bai. We crossed borders for them! (sounds dramatic, but it’s a 30 minute drive…) Mark loves (LOVES) soda, and since I really (really) love him and place his health and happiness up there with my own, I went on a mission to find something that would fill that sweet and bubbly void. Between the Bai drinks and heavy doses of sparkling water, I think I managed to bring him over to the healthier side of things. The drinks are awesome because they’re fruity and flavourful, but without added sugars/weird stuff. The coconut one is on hand at our house a lot because it makes a bangin’ green smoothie with some frozen pineapple, spinach, lime juice, and mint. Antioxidants and good times!

Making a vibrance-supporting (and fun!) beverage for holiday get-togethers is obviously incredibly easy to do at home, but most especially simple with all of the festive ingredients and spices floating around this time of year. My house pretty much smells of citrus, pine, spice, vanilla, and cranberry right through to New Year’s eve. This non-alcoholic mulled pot of goodness hits all of those notes with a little bit of extra vanilla, rosemary, and the tart smack of juicy pomegranate. I would proudly serve this next to the boozy punches, nogs, and other tipsy options of the season. It’s fresh and cozy at the same time, and just generally refreshing all the way around. Happy mulling! :)

Mulled pomegranate cider with vanilla + rosemary via thefirstmess.compin it!Mulled pomegranate cider with vanilla + rosemary via thefirstmess.compin it!Mulled pomegranate cider with vanilla + rosemary via thefirstmess.compin it!
mulled pomegranate cider with vanilla + rosemary recipe
Print the recipe here!
Serves: 6-8
Notes: I add the cranberries for an extra dose of tartness, but also because I had some languishing in the freezer that I thought would be fit for using up here. You could certainly do this cozy mulled drink without them :)

1/2 cup frozen cranberries
juice of 1 clementine, about 1/4 cup
1 vanilla bean, sliced down the middle lengthwise
1 rosemary sprig
4 cinnamon sticks (the 3-4-inch ones)
2 whole star anise pods (optional)
4 cups apple cider
1 18-oz bottle Ipanema Pomegranate Bai

thin sliced rounds of clementine
pomegranate seeds/arils
extra rosemary leaves

In a medium-large soup pot, combine all of the cider ingredients. Set it over medium heat and bring it to a decent simmer. Lower the heat so that the cider is barely bubbling. Let the cider simmer like this for 10 minutes or so, uncovered.

Serve mulled pomegranate cider hot with garnishes of clementine slices, pomegranate seeds, and rosemary leaves. Try your best to ladle the cider at the edges of the pot so that you don’t get too many of the steeped “floaters” in the cups ;)

*This post was created in partnership with Bai Brands. All opinions/endorsements are my own. Thanks for supporting!

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  • Barbara17/12/2015 - 9:41 am

    Whats the easiest yet most effective way to “juice” a clementine?ReplyCancel

    • Laura17/12/2015 - 9:43 am

      Like an orange or lemon! Cut in half and squeeeeze :)

  • Lyn17/12/2015 - 10:23 am

    Love your recipe and am looking forward to trying it…
    That said there are some hidden heath concerns for this using Bai juices and in general anything containing sugar alcohols… share this only as you mentioned you keep Bai juice hand which leads me to think this may be the case in your home… and this being in general a health based blog I thought you might be interested in the research. To that end I am including this link in the event you want to read further ~ in the event you’ve not already done this research on your own…

    Love your blog and wishing you and yours a healthy and happy New Year….ReplyCancel

    • Lyn17/12/2015 - 10:25 am

      Oops puppy jumped on lap before I could include the link:

      • Laura17/12/2015 - 4:24 pm

        Thanks for sending this link, Lyn. I should clarify that while we do keep Bai on hand, we kind of address it as a treat–like a splash in a smoothie or a once-in-a-while kinda drink (like soda). I do appreciate your comment though, as I’m always reading up on this sort of thing and trying to keep up to date :)

  • Abby @ The Frosted Vegan17/12/2015 - 10:24 am

    How is it that you can make a boozy drink look so nourishing and gorgeous?! I’m with you, I can’t booze it like I used to, but I’ll take a few mugs of warm booze this season, then I’m out for a nap and a snack :)ReplyCancel

  • danielle is rooting the sun17/12/2015 - 10:26 am

    laura, much giggles this morning. unfortunately my scene ends up looking a lot like lucille bluth, more often than not – so i’m conscious about keeping myself in check. i love the idea of a mulled cider, really warm, it’s always been one of the defining drinks of the season for me. the combination of pomegranate and cranberry (huge fan) makes me so excited. happy drinks to you lady! xoxoReplyCancel

  • Allyson17/12/2015 - 2:49 pm

    I love a good cocktail, but if I partake in more than two I’m sloshed. The alternative always seems to be to just sip water all night and draw all sorts of attention to myself. This looks like the gorgeous, non-boozy punch we all need.ReplyCancel

  • Maya | Spice + Sprout17/12/2015 - 3:42 pm

    ah i feel very on board with this drink! i am sure that it also makes the house smell amazing and holidayish PLUS gives your body those good healthy vibes and nutrients <3 <3ReplyCancel

  • This is a stunning cider! I can’t wait to make this over Christmas! I love the pairing of rosemary and pomegranate!ReplyCancel

  • thefolia18/12/2015 - 4:27 am

    So wonderful to see more and more soda options out there without the added sugars and other toxins. I haven’t heard of this one…I must check them out, I hope they don’t have and “natural flavors” the “ingredient” gets me…what’s a “natural flavor” Cheers to happy and healthy drinking!ReplyCancel

  • Chirag Dua18/12/2015 - 4:42 am

    This is so healthy and Nutritious recipe.. it helps to increase Our Immune Systems. thanks for provide Ingredients and method of cook..ReplyCancel

  • Jessie Snyder | Faring Well18/12/2015 - 11:37 am

    I just hopped on the Bai train and have been loving it too! So nice to have a healthy sip that nips my sweet tooth craving during the day. This mulled pot of goodness sounds like all the christmassy flavors in one happy place, I can smell it from here ;) xoReplyCancel

  • Jodi19/12/2015 - 8:18 am

    Ah I’ve been thinking about some fun non-boozy drinks for this season, because hello 29 and I just can’t put ’em back like I used too either. Funny how times can change, a bowl of antioxidants and being in bed before 10PM sound like a party to me. Love the flavors here Laura, vanilla + rosemary is just perfect. Happy days to you + yours xReplyCancel

  • Kathryn Grace21/12/2015 - 12:06 pm

    Gorgeous! Thanks for a delightful non-nog recipe for those of us who can’t imbibe so much. Love the pomegranate twist. Sharing.ReplyCancel

  • Keara McGraw21/12/2015 - 4:54 pm

    Laura, I love this. Sistah Aileen is totally on the Bai train, I’ll have to surprise her with this cider over the holidays! She can hang waaay more than I can (I totally connect with those gifs you posted) so while I’m sure she’d enjoy this spiked, I’m real happy for a delicious seasonal bev with the option of no booze!ReplyCancel

  • Kate | healing family eats22/12/2015 - 9:26 pm

    This looks absolutely beautiful and is going to be so delicious I know. I can’t wait to give it a try over the holidays.
    Merry Christmas!ReplyCancel

  • T Butcher23/12/2015 - 9:05 am

    Oh my… This cider is made of everything I love!! :)) Thanks :))ReplyCancel

  • kate | vegukate23/12/2015 - 12:01 pm

    What a gorgeous, beautiful seasonal recipe! I feel like that vanilla bean must make this drink extra delicious :)ReplyCancel

  • Brian @ A Thought For Food29/12/2015 - 5:13 pm

    Just got our first snowfall of the season and now I’m craving all things warm. Tea, cider, hot toddies. You know. All those wonderfully comforting beverages. Love everything about this gorgeous cider. Happy holidays, friend!ReplyCancel

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