I don’t think I need to say this, but it’s that cozy time of year. Time to curl up in front of a fire with a book and a cup of something warm & comforting. There’s so many delicious choices: coffee, tea, hot chocolate, steamed milk, apple cider….
This week I couldn’t resist brewing up a batch of cider. It just felt right. And the nice thing is you can spike it and no one will judge you for having some grown up juice in the afternoon!
This is my own recipe that I created by looking at a variety of sources and taking my favourite ingredients. It makes a strong cider with a rich flavour, but can be diluted for a milder version. Perfect for taking along for a crisp evening walk or relaxing in the cozy comforts of home.
1/2 cup each orang juice & cranberry juice (not cocktail)
3 cinnamon sticks
3 star of anise
2 tbsp mulling spice
1 orange rind
1 cup red wine (optional)
For a milder version, add an additional cup of apple juice or water.
Pour all liquid into a large pot; put heat on high
Peel or grate the rind of 1 orange & add to pot
Add cinnamon sticks & all other spices. Tip: you can use a ball tea diffuser or cheesecloth sache for the grated orange rind & spices to save you from having to strain the cider when ready
Bring to a boil, then reduce heat & simmer for 1/2 hour.
Garnish with a cinnamon stick & enjoy!
If you are unable to find mulling spices pre- mixed, you can buy the individual spices and make your own signature blend. These typically include any or all of the following: allspice, cinnamon, cloves, star of anise, cardamon. Taste your cider as it brews to achieve the flavour you desire. I recommend starting with a stronger batch & diluting to taste, since this will keep the flavours balanced, rather than ending up with spicy apple juice 😉
Also, it is important to use pure cranberry juice not the cocktail because the cocktail lacks the rich flavour & tends to have a lot of added sugar. I stock up at Trader Joes when I go to the States- it’s the cheapest I’ve found and has great flavour.
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