Yesterday, I posted about my efforts to keep warm on Saturday night, efforts that were slightly thwarted by the loss of my favorite hat.
I’ve also posted recently that one of my bucket list items before I leave Virginia is to try and convince Rob at Borjo, one of my favorite coffee shops, to give me the recipe for his apple cider.
A good apple cider recipe is so warm, so comforting, so full of the flavors of fall that one can’t help but wish for cooler weather, red and orange and yellow leaves on the trees, early darkness and the promise of holidays.
On Halloween, since it had just gotten cold and I knew we’d be opening and closing our door all night, I made cider, and it was good, and now I’m sharing the recipe. It is particularly delicious when you spike it with a little rum, but definitely not necessary.
I’ve made other recipes before, stand-by recipes that I swore by, but recently, I have found them to be a little bit too tart; they were a combination of cranberry juice, apples juice, and oranges that tasted a bit to puckery. This recipe, however, has a bit more sweetness, a bit more spice, and just a hint of tart to it, while still incorporating the cranberry tartness and sweet-tart apple flavors. It’s a great way to warm up with the cold weather that’s come in.
Spiced Cran-Apple Cider
Adapted from Country Living
1 can frozen apple juice concentrate
3 cans-worth water
1 can-worth cranberry juice
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
2 sticks cinnamon
5 whole allspice berries
3 whole cloves
1 1″x1″ piece raw, fresh ginger, peeled
8 slices orange (optional)
1. In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat the frozen juice concentrate, water, and cranberry juice over medium-high heat. Add the sugar and stir to melt.
2. Add the cinnamon sticks to the juice mixture. In a tea ball, cheesecloth, or disposable tea bag, add allspice berries, cloves, and ginger. Tie to close and add to the juice mixture. Add orange slices if you are using them.
3. Heat to a simmer and allow to cook 20 minutes. Strain into punch bowl or pitcher. Serve warm, possibly spiked with rum, brandy, or whatever you like. Also very delicious without alcohol.
Tomorrow is a crazy important election here in the U.S., so make sure you get out and exercise your right as a citizen: vote. Vote with your heart, with love for your fellow man; with kindness to everyone regardless of race, sex, class, socioeconomic level, or sexual orientation; with intelligence, and with an eye towards the greater good. But above all, vote.