Fall has a arrived early here on the coast of BC. Normally September is just as warm as August, and October is crisp with a few rainy days. The constant grey rain clouds don’t normally set in until November. So far September is full of rain and misty days, with a bit of sunshine in between. Normally I wouldn’t give into fall flavours quite this soon, but with this weather I just can’t get enough.
There’s just something about venturing out in the crisp fall air that brings me such joy. On Sunday’s rain or shine we go out for a long trail walk. When we get home we bundle up and make ourselves a hot drink to warm us up. Hot apple cider is my fall go to. I love it because it’s warm and spicy, but not too sweet. It really has all the flavours of fall in one glass (well except pumpkin).
I like to make apple cider on the stove, but if I was having a party I would make this recipe in a slow cooker. You will find both methods below. This recipe is made with unfiltered apple juice instead of actual apples. I just don’t feel that the extra work to make it from apples is really worth it. There are some great unfiltered apple juices on the market, so I’d rather save myself the trouble. You will notice that this recipe has brown sugar as an optional ingredient. Some people like a sweeter cider and some prefer a spicy cider. I don’t like sweet beverages, so I like to leave it out. My husband prefers it a little more sweet. It’s really up to you and your preferences.
This recipe is non-alcoholic, so if I’m serving this at a party I would create a spike-it-yourself station. The best alcohol for adding to cider is bourbon, brandy, or dark rum. This would be perfect for thanksgiving, or a halloween party.
Hot Apple Cider
Yields: 16 8oz servings
- 4 Litres (gallon) Unfiltered Apple Juice (not apple cider)
- 1 Orange, sliced
- 1 Apple, quartered
- 5 Cinnamon Sticks
- 1 Whole Nutmeg
- 1 Tbsp Whole Cloves
- 2 Tbsp Brown Sugar (optional)
Add all ingredients to a large pot over medium heat and bring liquid to a simmer. Turn the heat down to low and cook for 20-30 minutes. Keep warm on the stove until ready to serve.
Slow Cooker Method:
Add all ingredients to your slow cooker. Heat on low for 4 hours. Place cider on the keep warm setting until ready to serve.
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