Ahhhhh, Hot.Apple.Cider. I don’t know about you but as soon as I think hot apple cider I can immediately smell hot apple cider. This leaves me with a deep desire to taste hot apple cider as soon as possible! I find apple cider so comforting, each sip is like a giant, warm, loving embrace from the inside out!
When I was a little girl my grandma and grandpa would take me through a tour of the lights every December. Living in Iowa, this usually meant there was several feet of snow on the ground and/or in the middle of a blizzard at the time. One of the houses would have a stand selling hot apple cider for the people visiting the winter wonderland attractions to sip on while they browsed. This helped in preventing our fingers from falling off in the below zero bitter cold temperatures. To this day every time I have hot apple cider I think of and cherish those memories and feel those feelings I felt all those years ago as a young girl, wide-eyed with wonder and amazement for all this Christmas season involved.
I know it’s still a little early to be reminiscing Christmas stories and memories but for me it is never to early for Hot Apple Cider! So without further-ado I share with you my recipe for hot apple cider, and I hope you enjoy it as much as my family and I do. As always, I’d love to hear from you!
Hot Apple Cider
6 cups apple cider
1/4 cup real maple syrup
2 cinnamon sticks
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
6 whole cloves
6 whole allspice berries
1 orange peel, cut into strips
1 lemon peel, cut into strips
Pour the apple cider and maple syrup into a large stainless steel saucepan.
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 it up with a length of kitchen string. Drop the spice bundle into the cider mixture.
Place the saucepan over moderate heat for 5 to 10 minutes, or until the cider is very hot but not boiling.
Remove the cider from the heat. Discard the spice bundle.
Ladle the cider into big cups or mugs, adding a fresh cinnamon stick to each serving if desired.
*Note: If you don’t have cheesecloth handy just put all of the ingredients directly in the apple cider and strain before serving!
P.S. If you’d like to make this a super special treat before the bitter cold temperatures arrive, add a little ginger-ale or lemon lime soda, and a scoop of ice cream to each serving and Viola, Apple Cider Floats!