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Spice Up Your Cider

11/07/2014 02:17PM ● Published by Stefanie Montalto

Nothing says “Let’s get cozy!” like warm apple cider on a cool fall evening. As the temperatures drop and the winds pick up, snuggle up with your loved ones and spend the night in front of the fireplace with mulled cider.

Mulled Apple Cider.
Boil 2½ cups of water with 6 hibiscus tea bags until the liquid is reduced to 2 cups. Squeeze and remove the tea bags, then add 4 whole cloves, 4 whole allspice berries, and 2 cinnamon sticks. Let cool for an hour, then refrigerate for an additional hour. Strain the mixture and add to a large saucepan with 6 cups apple cider. Heat over medium heat until warmed through and garnish eeach cup with a cinnamon stick. (Optional: For an adult beverage, stir 1 cup of spiced rum into mixture during the last step.)

Warm Vanilla Cider.
Combine 6 cups apple cider with 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar in a medium-sized saucepan. Add 2 nutmeg seeds and one vanilla bean, split and scraped into the pot. Simmer over medium heat for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and discard solids. For grownups, add ¾ cup bourbon if you like. Garnish each serving with whipped cream and candied walnuts or pecans.

Caramel Apple Cider.
Stir together ⅓ cup packed brown sugar and ⅓ cup whipping cream in a medium-sized saucepan and cook over medium heat for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. When it’s bubbling, stir in 4 cups of apple cider and 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract. Heat for 10 minutes or until warm throughout. Serve in mugs with whipped cream and caramel sauce topping.

Creamy Hot Cider Nog.
In a saucepan, whisk together 1 cup cider, 1 cup milk, 2 cups half & half, 2 large eggs, ½ cup sugar, ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon, and a pinch each of salt and ground nutmeg. Warm over medium-low heat, whisking constantly, for 15 to 20 minutes until mixture thickens and coats the back of a spoon. Remove from heat and add ½ cup bourbon if serving adults (optional). Serve in mugs garnished with an apple slice, whipped cream, and ground cinnamon.

Spiced Lemon Apple Cider
. Combine ½ cup each lemon and orange juice with ½ gallon apple cider in a medium-sized saucepan. Add 3 cinnamon sticks and 1 tablespoon whole cloves. Warm over medium heat for about 30 minutes. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve to remove solids and serve warm; garnish each mug with a lemon slice.

What’s your favorite way to enjoy apple cider? Share with us below in the comments.
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