Spice Up Your Cider
Mulled Apple Cider. Boil 2½ cups of water with 6 hibiscus tea bags until the liquid is reduced to 2 cups. Squeeze and remove the tea bags, then add 4 whole cloves, 4 whole allspice berries, and 2 cinnamon sticks. Let cool for an hour, then refrigerate for an additional hour. Strain the mixture and add to a large saucepan with 6 cups apple cider. Heat over medium heat until warmed through and garnish eeach cup with a cinnamon stick. (Optional: For an adult beverage, stir 1 cup of spiced rum into mixture during the last step.)
Warm Vanilla Cider. Combine 6 cups apple cider with 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar in a medium-sized saucepan. Add 2 nutmeg seeds and one vanilla bean, split and scraped into the pot. Simmer over medium heat for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and discard solids. For grownups, add ¾ cup bourbon if you like. Garnish each serving with whipped cream and candied walnuts or pecans.
Caramel Apple Cider. Stir together ⅓ cup packed brown sugar and ⅓ cup whipping cream in a medium-sized saucepan and cook over medium heat for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. When it’s bubbling, stir in 4 cups of apple cider and 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract. Heat for 10 minutes or until warm throughout. Serve in mugs with whipped cream and caramel sauce topping.
Creamy Hot Cider Nog. In a saucepan, whisk together 1 cup cider, 1 cup milk, 2 cups half & half, 2 large eggs, ½ cup sugar, ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon, and a pinch each of salt and ground nutmeg. Warm over medium-low heat, whisking constantly, for 15 to 20 minutes until mixture thickens and coats the back of a spoon. Remove from heat and add ½ cup bourbon if serving adults (optional). Serve in mugs garnished with an apple slice, whipped cream, and ground cinnamon.
Spiced Lemon Apple Cider. Combine ½ cup each lemon and orange juice with ½ gallon apple cider in a medium-sized saucepan. Add 3 cinnamon sticks and 1 tablespoon whole cloves. Warm over medium heat for about 30 minutes. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve to remove solids and serve warm; garnish each mug with a lemon slice.
What’s your favorite way to enjoy apple cider? Share with us below in the comments.