Mulled Cider (Booze Optional)
Halloween has come and gone and Thanksgiving is under a week away—it’s officially the holiday season. What better way to kick off the Turkey Day festivities than with a big pot of hot, homemade apple cider? It’s too early to break out the Christmas eggnog, and all those apples sitting around the kitchen from your multiple apple picking sprees aren’t going to last much longer, so make this cider that takes only about 10 minutes of prep and leaves your house smelling somewhere between a Yankee candle shop and a McDonald’s apple pie. If you’ll be spending the week with relatives you’d rather not, throw some booze in there and it’s a win-win for everyone.
- 12 assorted medium apples (I used Granny Smith, Gala, and Red Delicious)
- 2 oranges
- 5 cinnamon sticks
- 1 Tbsp. ground nutmeg
- 1 Tbsp. whole cloves
- 1 tsp. whole allspice
- 1 gallon water (more or less)
- ½-1 cup brown sugar
- Cut up all of the fruit, using everything but the apple cores, and put it into a large pot. Add the cinnamon sticks, nutmeg, cloves, and allspice, then fill the pot with water up to about two inches before the rim. Place on the stove and turn heat to high, stirring the contents periodically.
- Once the mixture is simmering, turn the heat to medium-low and cover the pot. Let it cook for about two hours. Then, using a large spoon or a fork, mash the apples and oranges up inside the pot, cover again, and let cook for another hour.
- After the three hours, remove from heat and strain the mixture into a clean pitcher or pot. Depending on how sweet you like your cider, use anywhere up to a cup of the brown sugar, then mix until dissolved. Serve immediately, or refrigerate until you want to serve it. It can be reheated and stays good for up to five days in a refrigerator.