Apple cider is an ancient beverage known to humans for more than 5000 years, but its meaning can be different depending on where one lives. In most of the world, cider is associated with an alcoholic beverage, but in North America is typically regarded as a non-alcoholic raw, unfiltered apple juice, and the alcoholic version is known as hard cider. I have more details on cider origins and how it is made here.
Apple cider(non-alcoholic) is a very versatile beverage. It can be enjoyed straight, on ice, warm, or infused with spices, and even though it is mainly associated with the autumn/harvest season, in reality, it is all year round drink.
If you look at the recipes below, they are based on the old Indian tradition of making masala chai, minus the tea, of course, but it is the same principle. Garam chai masala recipes are particularly suitable for that particular purpose.
I came across some apple cider recipes, and I really enjoyed making them.
Non- Alcoholic Mulled Apple Cider
2 L good quality apple cider
3 cinnamon sticks or 2-3 tsp of ground cinnamon
4 whole cloves
1 star anise
2 wedges lemon
1 sliced orange
pinch of nutmeg
3 tbs of brown sugar, if using unsweetened apple cider
1 chili pepper – optional
- Pour the apple cider into a large pot. Heat the cider, cinnamon, cloves, star anise, orange slices, nutmeg, and chili in a 3-4 liters pot.
- Cook over medium heat for 5 minutes, squeeze the lemon wedges.
- Cover with lid and simmer for about 45 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent burning.
- Serve hot right away with a cinnamon stick and whipped cream, if desired. It can be served cold as well.
- Note: Apple juice can be used instead of apple cider, for the difference between apple juice and apple cider check this article.
Hot Spiced Apple Cider
2 L Apple Cider- non-alcoholic
1 oz fresh lemon juice
6 cinnamon sticks
1 sliced apple
3 slices fresh ginger
2 tsp of whole cloves
1 whole orange – clean and washed
* I used this recipe for an alcohol version.
- Use a toothpick to pock small holes all around the orange. Stick the cloves into the holes.
- Heat the apple cider in a 3L pot
- Add the orange and the rest of the ingredients
- Cook on medium, until steam, starts coming out – about 5 minutes
- Cover and simmer for about 45-60 minutes. Stir occasionally.
- Serve hot in a mug with a cinnamon stick and a dash of nutmeg or enjoy it cold on the next day.
- Note: What is dash of spice? – Dash = 1/8 tsp. Pinch = 1/16 tsp. Smidgen = 1/32 tsp.
Ok, enough with Teetotalism. We need some booze!
The previous two recipes can easily be adapted by adding before serving some bourbon, rum, brandy, calvados, or any other spirits for that matter.
Hot Buttered Rum with Apple Cider
To make the butter
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp cloves
1 pound dark brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 tsp white cardamon
1/2 pound butter
Blend well all the ingredients, except the rum, and store them in the fridge.
To make the drink
2 oz dark rum
1 cup of spiced apple cider -hot
Place 1-2 tbsp of butter into a mug with hot cider, add rum, and stir.
Garnish with a cinnamon stick and/or a dash of nutmeg.
Note: For spiced apple cider, one of the previous non-alcoholic recipes can be used, or any of your preferred spiced apple ciders.
Chai Masala Cider
1 1/2 oz dark rum
2 oz masala cider
1/2 Yuzu juice or 1/2 tsp of yuzu marmalade
1/2 oz peppercorn syrup
Shake with ice and strain in an ice-filled glass. Garnish with a cinnamon stick and apple slice.
To make masala cider, use the recipe above, Hot Spiced Apple Cider. Check these masala blends for any other masala infusion ideas, and use apple cider instead of water or milk.
If using store-bought masala chai, infuse two bags with 1 cup of hot apple cider for 10 min. Let it cool down and store it in the fridge.
If using yuzu marmalade, dissolve it first with a bit of water before mixing it with ice.
If too sweet, make the peppercorn syrup without sugar.
If making a hot version: after the hot infusion, pour in a heat-proof glass over premixed rum, yuzu, and peppercorn syrup, p11.
Apple Cider with Butterscotch
2 oz apple cider
1 oz dark rum
1/2 oz butterscotch
1/2 oz fresh lemon juice
1 Granny apple – peeled and cut into large chunks
Shake apple cider, rum, and butterscotch with ice and strain over ice into a tall glass. To prepare the apples: mix apples with lemon juice in a container, toss them around. Garnish with apple skewers.
Rum with Spiced Apple Cider
- 2 oz dark rum/bourbon
- 15 oz sweet cider - non-alcoholic
- 3 oz cranberry juice
- 1 oz honey
- 4 slices of orange
- whole cloves
- 1/2 apple peeled and diced
- Pinch of Allspice
- 1 inch of fresh ginger
- 3 cinnamon sticks or 1 1/2 tbsp ground cinnamon
There are two options to prepare the drink, one is to use a crockpot, and the other is to simmer it on a stove for about an hour. With both options, add the liquor just before serving. The choice I have here is for using a crockpot.
Stick the cloves onto the orange slices; they will float when you put them later in the pot.
Set the Crockpot to a lower setting, and put in all the ingredients, except the rum. As it gets warm, stir the honey to ensure it is dissolved.
Cook for about 3- 4 hours, add the rum 30 min before finish cooking, or directly into the glass before adding the spiced apple cider. Strain the cider into a heatproof glass and garnish with a slice of apple or dash of nutmeg.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 181Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 10mgCarbohydrates: 36gFiber: 4gSugar: 28gProtein: 1g
This data was provided and calculated by Nutritionix.