bring on the apples…
it’s cider season

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It’s October, time for apple cider and all things fabulous and fall! If you’re lucky enough to live near an organic orchard where you can pick your own fruit, you know the joy of truly fresh apples. And you probably also know the joy of truly good apple cider. Nothing says fall quite like a hot spiced cider, so we’ve gathered a few of our favorite grown-up cider recipes. Try these with your favorite locally-produced organic cider (and sure, you could always buy an organic cider at the store if local isn’t an option)! Most of these can easily be made without the alcohol if you need a kid-friendly version as well. Happy Halloween!

Classic Hard Cider

  • 8-10 ounces spiced rum
  • 8 cups apple cider
  • 1 large orange – juiced
  • 1 large lemon – juiced
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 4 allspice berries
  • 3 cinnamon sticks
  • 3 anise pods

Place all ingredients, except the rum, in a large pot and bring to a simmer. Cook over low heat for 10 to 15 minutes. Add rum and stir gently. Transfer to an insulated container or slow cooker to keep warm.
For Kids: simply omit the rum.

Apple Cider ‘Rita

  • 1 ounce orange liqueur
  • 1 ounce reposado tequila
  • 5-6 ounces apple cider
  • 1 orange slice
  • 1 apple wedge

Prep your glass by running an orange wedge over the rim of a margarita glass, then dipping the rim into coarse cinnamon-sugar. Drop an orange slice into the bottom of the glass.

Fill a cocktail shaker with ice, top with orange liqueur, tequila and cider, shake to combine and strain into the prepared glass, garnish with an apple slice.

Drunken Cider

A slightly different, and more elegant, twist on the classic hard cider.

  • 1/2 gallon apple cider
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 3 cinnamon sticks
  • Freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 vanilla bean split lengthwise
  • 3-4 tablespoons honey
  • 1 bottle sweet white wine (gewürztraminer, riesling or vidal would be ideal)
  • 1 cup fresh cranberries

Pour cider, spices and honey into a large pot and bring to a simmer. Cook over low heat for 10 to 15 minutes. Add the cranberries and simmer just a few minutes until they color the cider a bit. Reduce heat and add the wine. Transfer to an insulated container or slow cooker to keep warm.
For Kids: simply omit the wine.

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