Friday, November 5, 2010

Spiked Cider

I recently attended a festive fall fete at my friend Ryan and Niki's house.  Niki had a grand idea to spice things up with some Spiked Cider.  It's fall, and we need to stay warm somehow, right?

After a little digging on the interweb, I came up with the recipe below.  You start whipping this up on weeknights, and you're gonna have a problem on your hands.  Don't say I didn't warn you.

Spiked Cider
Adapted from
Serves: 15

2 oranges
6 cinnamon sticks
25 allspice berries
25 whole cloves
1 gallon apple cider
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 cup dark rum
1 1/4 cup applejack

Using a vegetable peeler, remove the peel from the orange in strips.  When you're peeling your orange, try to remove only the orange part of the peel.  The white part (a.k.a. the pith) can be bitter.  Cut a piece of cheesecloth (about a 12" square) to create a little bundle for your mulling spices*.  Onto the cheesecloth square, pile the orange peel, cinnamon sticks, allspice berries, and cloves.  Tie your cheesecloth bundle closed using kitchen twine or another thin piece of cheesecloth.  

Pour the apple cider into a large saucepan or crockpot.  Stir in the brown sugar and butter.  Add the cheesecloth packet of spices.  Turn on the heat, medium for a saucepan or low for your crockpot, and let the mixture simmer until you're ready to drink it, at least 15 minutes if you're using a saucepan or 1 hour in your crockpot.  You want the cider to be warmed through and infused with the spices.  

When you're ready to drink the cider, remove the spice packet.  Stir in the rum and applejack just before serving.  Garnish with a cinnamon stick if you're feeling extra fancy.  

*If you don't have cheesecloth, don't dispair!  Simply dump the orange peel and the spices right into the cider with the brown sugar.  When you're ready to drink it, strain the cider before adding the booze.  

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