One of my favorite drinks to have during the fall and winter is apple cider.
There are a couple different recipes I like to use and I like interchanging some of the ingredients.
A friend of mine here in Delhi showed me a new cider recipe that I’ve been making a lot recently. It just uses regular apple juice, a couple of tea bags, and some cinnamon. You throw it all in a pot on the stove and let it warm up. It’s quick, easy and it makes a lot for bigger gatherings.
But my favorite cider recipe wraps spices and orange peel in a cheese cloth and lets them simmer in the cider all day. I like to put it in the Crockpot so that by the time you sit down in the evening, it’s ready to drink and the whole house smells like warm cinnamon and cloves.
And that’s the best part about making cider, especially here in India, because it reminds me so much of home. It’s such an easy way of recreating the same feeling you get right around Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Here’s a recipe for you to try out some time!
Hot Apple Cider
6 cups apple cider
1/4 cup real maple syrup
2 cinnamon sticks
6 whole cloves
6 whole allspice berries
1 orange peel, cut into strips
1 lemon peel, cut into strips
1. Pour the apple cider and maple syrup into a large stainless steel saucepan.
2. Place the cinnamon sticks, cloves, allspice berries, orange peel and lemon peel in the center of a washed square of cheesecloth; fold up the sides of the cheesecloth to enclose the bundle, then tie is up with a length of kitchen string. Drop the spice bundle into the cider mixture.
3. Place the saucepan over the moderate heat or 5 to 10 minutes, or until the cider is very hot but not boiling.
4. Remove the cider from the heat. Discard the spice bundle. Ladle the cider into big cups or mugs, adding a fresh cinnamon stick for stirring.
**Optional: One reviwer on the website makes this helpful suggestion:
“I just added one thing which is an old trick I recently learned from a New York State apple farmer who’s family has been making hot cider for 150 or so years. Thinly slice and or chop up some McIntosh apples including the peel into small pieces and drop a small bunch of the apple pieces into each cup of hot cider just before serving. This makes a wonderful addition to this recipe, which I would say is the best hot cider I have ever tasted. Thanks so much for posting this great recipe. IT IS WONDERFUL!” – rgirl