Monday, October 25, 2010

Spiced Apple Cider

CSN Stores has gifted me with a gift certificate to any one of their 200 stores on-line, where I look forward to shopping for whatever I want! I'm excited to choose from a bar stool, to a blender, to a blanket. Really, the choices are endless, but I think since I broke my crockpot this weekend, I'll be looking for one of those (which I could actually use tomorrow, when I take this wonderful cider to share at work)!

You know how, at work, people are expected to bring treats in on their birthdays? Well, I boycott that; it's against my principles to have a commitment on my birthday! That said, I do like to bring in a treat now and then during other times of the year, and when Kendall said she was in the mood for my mom's Spiced Apple Cider, I figured I'd make some. The recipe makes a ton, so I should have plenty to share all around.

2 2-inch long cinnamon sticks
2 tablespoons whole cloves
1 1/2 quarts water
1 cup sugar(dang! just realized I could have used Splenda!)
1 gallon of apple cider of your choosing
1 12-oz can frozen orange juice (we buy it with pulp)
1 12-oz can frozen lemonade

I threw my 5-year old cinnamon sticks away and bought new ones. 
The cloves smelled wonderful.

 First, take the first four ingredients and simmer them on the stove for an hour.

Obviously, the water will be clear at first.

After a little while, it will look a little cloudy.

After an hour, it will be a beautiful, golden hue.

Strain it into a large pitcher...

...or, if you have a huge Tupperware bowl, strain it directly into that. 
The entire batch fits into the bowl, 
where you can gently stir it with the apple cider, lemonade, and orange juice.

Carefully fill the apple cider bottle, using a funnel.

The recipe makes a gallon and a half.

It also makes for a wonderfully-flavorful drink on a cool, autumn day.

For what it's worth, it also makes a fantastic accompaniment to leftover pumpkin and spice cake! 
(and can you imagine it with a shot of amaretto?!)