This isn't your ordinary apple cider. This is warm, comforting, with a hint of citrus and a kick of rum! Picture this... pure, delicious fall coziness in a glass... Or two....no judgment here...
I love the fall. I love whipping out my boots, sweaters and cozy jackets (like I did this past weekend).
I am so excited for the cool, crisp air, the beautiful changing colors of the leaves, the pumpkins and scarecrows, the layers of clothes and let’s not forget the red wine!
But then, wouldn’t you know it, it was 75 degrees today. Seriously?
No. I’m over the heat.
Bring on the fall. For real this time.
Of course I am sure I will be complaining about the cold water in a few weeks, but that's just because we usually skip fall and go straight to winter! That really annoys me.
Ok, back to my cozy clothes and red wine. I mean, spiked apple cider. And crazy amounts of cozy.
The truth is, I am not much of a hard alcohol drinker. I usually have a couple of glasses of wine a week (depending on the week of course) or an easy vodka soda, but this old lady body can’t really drink like that anymore.
Who am I kidding? I never really could. Any of my college friends out there?
You all know that is the truth.
But this spiked cider I can drink. It’s sweet with a hint of rum and tastes and perfect for tailgating parties or whatever party you go to this Fall.
Picture this, a raging outside fire, sitting around it with your family and friends, a big cozy blanket and big mug of this... That sounds like the perfect fall night, doesn't it?
In all seriousness, I feel so sad to even say this, but I can't drink red wine anymore. I'v heard of women in their forties not being able to drink it anymore because it gives them headaches or it makes them wake up in the middle of the night, and now I am THAT person. Sigh...
The headaches and waking up in the middle of the nights are just not worth it anymore. Even though red wine is super cozy on those cool autumn nights.
So thank goodness for this Spiked Apple Cider!
And vodka. I like vodka.
I can drink a vodka soda and feel great that night and the next day. Oh wait, I guess that means I DO drink hard alcohol?
But I digress...
Make sure you don't forget to buy some fresh apple cider when you go apple picking! Fresh apple cider is the most delicious so try to remember when you are at a local farm.
I promise it will make you incredibly happy and also will make this drink taste that much better.
Just be careful, unpasteurized, or fresh apple cider, may contain bacteria that cause illness. Harmful bacteria must be killed before you drink the cider, which would then make it pasteurized.
In order to do this, heat cider to at least 160 degrees Fahrenheit to kill off that harmful bacteria.
I also love to stir these fun cocktails with cinnamon sticks, which you can buy at any grocery store.
They are in the spices and seasonings aisle and not only look fun and festive, but they add a little spice to it. My kids even like to use them as straws, although they are technically "green" and safer for the environment, but they don't really work that well!
By the way, I really despise those paper straws, who's with me? They don't even work well and they break so easily which defeats the whole purpose of the paper straw.
Does anyone else agree?
Ok, focus Lauren....back to this Spiked Apple Cider...
- ½ gallon apple cider
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 1 teaspoon whole cloves
- 1 tablespoon fresh orange juice
- 1 tablespoon orange zest
- ½ inch grated ginger
- ¼ cup spiced rum or brandy
- Place all of the ingredients except the rum in a saucepan and bring to a boil.
- Let simmer on low for 10 minutes.
- Remove from heat and drain in a fine mesh colander so only the liquid is reserved.
- Stir in rum. Serve warm, Add extra cinnamon sticks as garnish if desired.
I have made this few times now (in the name of research of course) and one time I used lemon and the other time I used orange.
I liked the orange flavor way better. But you do what makes you happy.
It's definitely a personal preference. And please don't get me wrong, I like them with both lemon AND orange, I just prefer the orange.
I like to make a pitcher of it when we are entertaining. And I typically use orange zest and just have some fresh slices of lemon and orange available and have people choose what they want.
It's always a huge crowd pleaser and everyone always loves it. Just make sure the kids know it's an adult beverage.
It's easy to make a mistake! I intentionally made some minus the rum for my kids and they loved it. I just had to mark the pitcher!
I didn't think this needed any added sugar, it was sweet enough on its own. You can add some sugar or even a sugar free alternative (like stevia, erythritol or monk fruit) if you'd like.
I would say leave it out at first and add sweetener to taste. It really depends on your personal tastes.
There are many people who like their cocktails sweet, just not me. Again, this cocktail is so versatile and can be made exactly how you like it.
Cheers to all of my friends out there!
Here is to sipping on this delicious drink, being in front a roaring fire with close family and friends and being wrapped up in a really cozy blanket. It really doesn't get better that that. Am I right?