Turkey Tail Mushroom Mulled Apple Cider (with Astragalus)

Add a delicious immunity boost to your day with mulled apple cider infused with turkey tail mushrooms and astragalus root.

turkey tail mushrooms and mulled apple cider in a rustic pottery mug, text says "Turkey Tail Mulled Apple Cider"

This yummy creation came about when I decided to combine a fall favorite – fresh apple cider from my local orchard, with turkey tail mushrooms gathered from the woods around my house.

Turkey tail (Trametes versicolor) is a pretty easy-to-find mushroom that probably grows near you. Since it doesn’t have any poisonous look-a-likes, it’s also perfect for beginner foragers to look for.

Learn Your Land has an excellent video about foraging for Turkey Tail that I recommend checking out. (All of his videos are excellent, actually!)

If you can’t forage any locally, look for dried Turkey Tail from small shops on Etsy.

Turkey tail mushrooms growing in the forest

Why use Turkey Tail Mushrooms?

Trametes versicolor (turkey tail) is one of the most researched mushrooms out there.

The main reason I’m using it in this recipe is because it supports your immune system, which will be especially important as we head towards winter and cold/flu season.

It also has a lot of promise for patients fighting cancer and undergoing chemotherapy.

Features of the Other Ingredients:

Astragalus Root

Astragalus (Astragalus membranaceus) is an adaptogen, excellent at restoring energy and supporting your immune system. It also helps you cope with seasonal stressors and increases your ability to fight off colds. (I buy mine from Mountain Rose Herbs.)

Ginger Root

Ginger (Zingiber officinale) helps support healthy digestion and eases upset stomach and nausea. I find it extra helpful during cold and flu season. I use fresh ginger root from my local grocery store, but you could also use a bit of dried ginger root or a pinch of ginger powder to taste.

Cinnamon & Clove

These spices add a warm and delicious flavor to mulled cider. Cinnamon and clove are also good for digestion.

Spicebush Berries (optional)

Spicebush berries accent most anything made with cinnamon; they’re especially tasty in apple dishes! These were foraged from around my house. I’ve never seen any available commercially, so they can definitely be omitted if you don’t have any, or you could try a tiny pinch of allspice, which some compare spicebush flavor to.

Related: Check out How to Make Spicebush Apples over at Unruly Gardening.

apples, cinnamon sticks, turkey tail mushroom, spicebush berries on a wooden board

Ingredients for Turkey Tail Infused Cider

  • 3 cups apple cider
  • 1/8 cup dried, chopped turkey tail mushrooms
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried astragalus root pieces
  • sliver of fresh ginger root (about 1/4 inch)
  • 2 cinnamon sticks, broken
  • 1 whole clove
  • optional: 3 or 4 spicebush berries
small saucepan with apple cider, cinnamon sticks, astragalus root, turkey tail mushroom, and cloves

Directions to Make

  1. Place all of the ingredients in a small saucepan and bring to simmer.
  2. Cover with a lid and adjust heat so it continues simmering for around one hour. (Don’t heat for hours or the flavor may turn bitter.)
  3. Strain.
  4. Pour a serving size into a mug, and add raw honey to taste.
  5. Refrigerate leftover cider.

To reheat herbal mulled cider:

Pour the amount you’d like to drink into a small saucepan and warm up to a comfortable drinking temperature.

Pour into a mug and add honey to taste. (I like to dip the tip of a spoon in a jar of sourwood honey and then stir it in to lightly sweeten the cider. Yum!)

Mulled apple cider can be stored in your refrigerator for around 1 week.

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  1. One of my goals is to learn how to forage for wild mushrooms. There is a vendor at our local farmers market who sells foraged mushrooms and I’ve gotten some from him. He has several certifications. What kind of taste does the turkey tail mushroom add? Chaga mushrooms taste kinda like roobois tea….sweet and floral, which surprised me coming from a mushroom.

    1. Hi Jerilea, That’s a wonderful goal! Mushroom hunting is a ton of fun. Turkey tail is super mild and doesn’t overpower – I add it to things like cider and soups and to be honest, can’t even pick out the flavor of it.

    1. Hi Marsha! I haven’t tried that, but it would probably work!
      The main thing is that you don’t want to heat the spices for too long or they start turning bitter.
      So you wouldn’t want to simmer in a crockpot for hours. I’ve found that about 1 hour of heating is just right for our taste buds. :)

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