Hot Spiked CiderOctober 26, 2015 By Cathy — 2 Comments
Fall in a cup, with an edge.
I am all about the apple in the fall…apple picking, apple pie, apple cider. And not just any apple cider. But hot, spicy mulled apple cider spiked with a healthy pour of Applejack brandy. It tastes like fall in a cup…with an edge.
Spiked cider has been an autumn standard in our house for years. Anytime we’re having a gathering…Sunday football, pumpkin carving or an evening around the fire pit, I grab a jug of cider, wrap up my favorite spices in some cheesecloth and throw it all in a pot over a low simmer. Not only does it warm your insides, it makes the entire house smell like the season.
Many spirits will work in spiked cider such as rum or bourbon, however my favorite is Applejack brandy. It’s crafted from apples and has been a New Jersey favorite for over 300 years. It allows the apple flavor to really shine through and not be overshadowed by the mulling spices or orange slices. So, as the days grow shorter and the air chillier, grab a steaming mug of cider and a cozy blanket and settle into autumn.
- 3 cinnamon sticks
- 2 pieces star anise
- 10 whole cloves
- 8-10 whole black peppercorns
- 1 one-inch piece peeled gingerroot
- 2-3 inch strips of lemon peel
- 2-3 inch strips of orange peel
- 1/2 gallon apple cider
- 1 orange cut in half and thinly sliced
- 1 1/2 cups Applejack brandy
Lay out a piece of cheesecloth and place cinnamon sticks, star anise, cloves, peppercorns, gingerroot and peel in the center. Gather the edges and tie securely with twine.
Pour apple cider into a large pot and add the cheesecloth bundle and orange slices.
Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer over low heat.
Continue to simmer over low heat for 20 minutes and up to 2 hours.
Stir in brandy and discard cheesecloth bundle.
Pour in mugs, garnish with cinnamon sticks and orange slices to serve.