Monday, November 28, 2011

Apple Cider: Spiced, Served Hot!

Hot Spiced Cider

Well, It's Fall, the weather is cold and getting colder, with snow fall in some places. The holidays are near and apples are in season. I enjoy many types of hot beverages myself- i am a fan of tea, coffee, warm sake, but a nice spiced cider is a wonderful treat- especially at a holiday table.
    One of the best things about Spiced Apple Cider is how easy it is to prepare. Here are some little tricks to know before you start to help you spice with success!

  • Never use Ground Cinnamon- ground cinnamon turns slimy when heated with liquid. Your cider will have clumpy, slimy brown boogers in it. Always use stick cinnamon. 
  • Do you best to find the best "juice" possible. With just pressed apples as an ingredient. This will have the best lightest flavor, and ensure that your beverage isn't overbearingly sweet.
Bring a jug to your next party. It's family friendly!

1/2 gallon of fresh pressed pure apple "juice" or "cider" be sure to read the label, it should only say       "apples".
1 cinnamon stick
3 whole cloves
1/2 tsp grated nutmeg
1 TBS fresh ginger
1 TBS orange zest
    Pour juice into a large pot over medium-low heat. Add spices and zest. Heat to just below boiling, and steep over low heat for an hour. Remove form heat, strain (optional) and serve. Keeps in the fridge for about 2 weeks.
SERVING SIZE: Makes 1/2 gallon.

OTHER FLAVORS: Of course you can put any spices you like, and adjust the amounts of these here. You can try adding a touch of orange juice, lemon zest (try a meyer lemon!), or your favorite sweetener, though i find it best just as is.

FASTER: well, easier: place all ingredients in a crock pot. heat on low all day.

HEALTHIER: So healthy if you use natural, pure, fresh apple juice. Easy to find at your local farmer's market, or at your local health food store. 

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