Nothing complements a fall afternoon quite like a warm mug of apple cider. Not only is it a comfort for the soul but for the body as well. This ancient drink is low in calories but high in antioxidants. Refrain from the urge to tear that packet of powdery mix. Just follow these simple steps to make your own, authentic cider.
- 1 gallon apple juice or apple cider
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- Cinnamon sticks
- 1 teaspoon whole cloves
- 1 teaspoon whole allspice
- 1/2 cup orange peel, cut into strips
- 1/2 cup lemon peel, cut into strips
- Large stock pot or crock pot
- Pour one gallon of fresh cider or juice into pot or slow cooker.
- Add a half cup of brown sugar.
- Place cloves, allspice, orange and lemon peels, and cinnamon sticks on a square of cheesecloth and tie up. Add to the pot. (Coffee filters or a tea ball can be substituted for the cheesecloth).
- In a crock pot: heat for 2 hours.
- In a regular pot: heat the cider to a boil, stirring regularly. Simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Remove the spices from the pot and serve.
Tips and twists:
For a different flavor, add cranberry juice.
For decoration, float orange slices in the pot or a whole apple, studded with cloves.
For kids: serve each mug with a cinnamon stick, kids love using them as straws.
For Adults: add a splash of rum or brandy to really spice things up.