Nothing quite says fall like spiced apple cider. This spiced apple cider is another one of my Grandmother’s recipes. It doesn’t even have sugar in it or any other sweetener and, trust me, it doesn’t need it. The apple cider is sweet enough all by itself. I highly recommend trying to find some local fresh cider. It is just soooo much better. But, the bottled kind is still good. And, not only is this good served the traditional hot way, I am going to give you directions to make soda out of it for those fall afternoons that still get pretty hot. There are a lot of those here in Georgia.
My grandmother did a few things differently than I do, so I wanted to point them out in case someone wants to try it her way. Most importantly, she simmered her cider covered. You do end up with more to serve in the end that way, but simmering it uncovered allows it to reduce a bit and gives you a more concentrated flavor and makes it a bit sweeter. She also cooled and then refrigerated hers overnight and then reheated it the next day. This also makes the flavor stronger, but with the smell of hot apple cider on the stove, I just can’t resist going ahead and drinking it. So, I use the reduction method.
If you want to make soda with the cider, you will have to refrigerate it though. After it gets cold, mix it one-to-one with seltzer. This is really so good and super refreshing.
Spiced Apple Cider Two Ways
Yield 6 cups
- 1/2 gallon apple cider (If you can find it fresh and local, all the better!)
- 4 cinnamon sticks
- 12 whole cloves
- 2 lemons
- seltzer if serving as soda
- Peel the lemons trying to get as little of the white pith on the peel as possible.
- Then, peel as much of the white pith off the lemons as possible without puncturing them. (The pith is bitter, so the less of it the better.) Then, thinly slice the lemons.
- Put all the ingredients in a pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes (or longer if you want it sweeter).
- At this point you may refrigerate the cider overnight to make the flavors stronger or serve as is.
- To serve hot, strain and serve immediately or reheat.
- To serve as soda, strain, refrigerate until cold and then mix at a 1:1 ratio with seltzer.
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