While pumpkin has been the darling flavor of fall these past few years, I think we absolutely need to give the apple a little more credit. I mean, doesn’t the flavor of a fresh honey crisp just make you want to go run through a field of flaming red foliage? Am I the only one?
Regardless, I was having breakfast with a good friend last weekend, and the drink of choice (for both of us) was an apple cider topped with fresh maple whipped cream. Sounds delightful, no? It was, but it was a teeny bit too sweet as well. I decided to head home and create my own version of this recipe. My main goal was to spice things up with the cider in order to bring some balance to this wonderful fall warmer.
Hot Spiced Apple Cider
Ready in 10 minutes
- 1/2 teaspoon whole allspice
- 1 teaspoon whole cloves
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 1 pinch ground nutmeg
- 2 star anise pods (optional)
- 1/2 of one orange
- 2 quarts apple cider
Mix first five ingredients together in a coffee filter or piece of cheesecloth. Drop the spice bundle and the orange into a small saucepan of the cider. Bring up to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook for 10-20 minutes or until the cider has reached the desired level of spice. The longer the spices are left in the cider, the stronger they’ll get.
I’ve just been making this in small batches during the week, but if you’d like to go the extra mile (especially if you’re making this for a party), I would highly recommend adding a little spiced rum (after the boil) and then topping the cider with maple whipped cream. It makes quite the fall cocktail.
I’ve been enjoying this sweet and spicy recipe (sans rum) as an afternoon snack with some maple sandwich cookies (from Trader Joe’s). It’s really made each workday into an amazing little fall ‘moment’.
I hope you’re really savoring all of the little moments fall has to offer, no matter how small! And if you REALLY want to jump into all the fall feelings at once, check out my other post today on 10 Ways to Feel the Fall!