I always have a close connection in my mind with the Thanksgiving chilly weather and football. After our big Thanksgiving meal, my dad, my brother, and I would let the tryptophan take over as we lounged on the couch watching the Detroit Lions get pummeled. Afterward, my older (and much bigger) brother and I would go outside to play football and pummel each other. We’d come inside bruised, dirty and cold, and if we were lucky, we would be (eventually) greeted by a sweet warm drinks.
OK, so maybe I let nostalgia seep in too much, but Thanksgiving was always one of my favorite holidays. At the end of a blustery day, nothing beats warming up with a mug filled with a tasty drink. When I was just a wee lad, I’d go crazy for those pre-packed super sweet hot chocolate mixes. These days, I much prefer drinking my favorite hot apple cider recipe.
I first discovered the glories of this hot apple cider recipe during my days living out on the East Coast. Very little beats the simple pleasure of sipping homemade apple cider on a brisk New England fall day. I’ve carried my tastes with me, and since then this hot apple cider recipe has become an oft-requested recipe any time my friends or family get together. This apple cider recipe is heavy on spices, which is what my friends and family like, but is easily adaptable to a wide variety of tastes.
HOT APPLE CIDER
– 12 gallon high quality apple cider ( I prefer local apple cider, but I know that’s not realistic for everyone)
– 4-5 whole cinnamon sticks
– 1 palmful whole cloves
– 1-2 star anise pods
– Nutmeg, to taste
– Ginger, to taste
– Grated zest from 1 orange
1. Pour your apple cider into a large pot and place over a high heat.
2. Once the cider starts bubbling, turn the heat to low and add all your flavoring agents.
3. Let the mixture sit over a low heat for about 5 to 10 minutes, enough time to give the whole spices to seep into the mixture.
4. Once it is ready to serve, strain out the whole spices and pour into mugs.
Notes: Yes, the recipe really is that simple. Like any other basic dish, you can always adjust the amount of spice you choose to add. I know some prefer a sweeter drink and will add brown sugar and whole orange slices to the mix. Sometimes, if I want to mix things up a bit, I’ll add some cranberries to the mixture. Of course, if you have an adult crowd and want to make hard apple cider, add spiced rum to your apple cider. So long as you’re thinking fall, it’s hard to go wrong with making apple cider.
Matthew Kaplan is the Editor of FaveDiets.com, a popular online resource for healthy recipes and all things healthy cooking.