Sunday, September 26, 2010

Hot Spiced Apple Cider

     There's nothing I like more in an upstate-NY fall than hot spiced apple cider.  It makes the kitchen smell lovely and tastes delicious.  I like to place it in my biggest, fattest, favorite mug and just sit with it warming my hands, it's aroma filling my apartment.  I let the stove-produced comfort wash over my senses, and I become instantly happy.
     Unfortunately, if done wrong the whole production foils your plans for a relaxing evening.  As an example of things that can go wrong - you can put in too much orange peel and end up with cider that tastes like hot orange juice.  Trust me, there's nothing worse than hot orange juice.
     So here it is, the Marie method of Hot Spiced Apple Cider, and afterwards an alternative recipe by Vanessa.

Hot Spiced Apple Cider

- Good Quality Cider, enough to fill a small stove-pot - can be farm bought or grocery-store bought.  I tend to find that higher sugar contents like the store bought make better hot cider and taste worse cold.  (and Vice Versa).
- Two Cinnamon Sticks (can't do too much really!)
- Small amount of Fresh Orange Peel (one finger-length, thick ribbon)
- 1 teaspoon Whole Cloves
- 1 Anise Seed "Flower" - do NOT use extract.  Just delete this ingredient if you can't find it.

Heat it all together on the stove until it steams, but don't let it boil.  If it boils it will still taste good, but not AS good as if you did not boil it.  Once it steams, pour it through a strainer into that favorite mug of yours (So that you're not fighting little bits and pieces of clove while you drink!)  And TAADAA! You now have lovely Hot Spiced Apple Cider.

Now if you're not so wild about that, here's an addition:

Vanessa's Hot Apple Cider.
The theme here is "skip the fancy stuff and bring on the booze!"

- Apple Cider
- Cinnamon Sticks per taste
- Rum

Heat the cinnamon sticks and apple cider together.  Once that is done, strain it into a mug, leaving room for the rum.  If you heated the rum with the cider you would lose a lot of the alcohol content.  So, add the rum after the cider is heated, to taste.

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