Sunday, November 29, 2009

How To Make Apple Cider

By Andy Garvin

Apple cider is a classic New England beverage that can be consumed and enjoyed on several occasions. It's typically a holiday treat served during Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas. Traditionally, apple cider is made from unfiltered apple juice, often served hot and flavored with spices. If you're planning to treat your holiday guests to this delicious drink, you'll want to have a good apple cider recipe on your hands.

One hot apple cider recipe calls for maple syrup, cinnamon sticks, cloves, allspice berries, and orange and lemon peels. The main component is apple cider itself, which can either be purchased or homemade. A cider press can help you extract the juice from the apples if you want your cider to be more authentic. However, this takes a lot of time and patience and it's more practical to just buy some.

No one will frown upon you for this, especially after they taste how good your cider is. Whichever you decide, when you have your apple cider, you mix it with maple syrup in a sauce pan, and then you wrap the cinnamon sticks, cloves, allspice berries and fruit peels in a cloth and drop it into the cider and syrup mixture. Then you simply heat the sauce pan until the cider is hot but not boiling. At this point, you take out the spice bundle and the apple cider is ready to serve.

Variations on the hot apple cider recipe can switch up the spices and flavorings used. Some examples of additional ingredients are nutmeg, brown sugar and cardamom. If you want a richer texture and flavor, you can add butter, and if you plan to make your apple cider alcoholic, you can add some rum or brandy to the mix.

If you're looking for a cold apple cider recipe, it uses similar ingredients except you may use juices, like orange and lemon juice instead of maple syrup and peels. Stir everything in a punch bowl and chill the mixture, and then you're done. Cold apple cider can also be made from a hot apple cider recipe-in this case, you chill the mixture that you've heated instead of serving it right away. Using the same recipe to make both hot and cold apple cider can satisfy everyone's temperature preferences. But regardless of whether it's hot or cold, drinking apple cider is a great way to celebrate the fall or winter season. Just make sure that there's enough to go around!

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