boozy brandy & cinnamon cider.

october hits and immediately, so do my cravings for cider and warm fresh goodies out of the oven or hot off the stove. it’s instinctual. okay, mostly it’s the weather. but that doesn’t make the cravings any less intense.

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i’ve been making mulled cider since i was a tween. so i figured it high time i threw together a list of sorts for which you could perhaps base your hot pot of {hard} cider upon. this is so loose. i mean. . . .the loosest. you could add more of some things, less of others, nix ingredients, or add whatever tastes better to you. i find myself doing the exact same thing with nearly each pot as sometimes i am in the mood for sweeter or spicier. it all depends on what you are looking for. so without further adieu. this will make roughly four servings. you can double or even triple if you are needing to make cider for a large party|holidays.

boozy brandy & cinnamon cider

4 C | 1 liter unfiltered apple cider — if you can find this at a local orchard or famer’s market, even better!

1/2 C | 125 mL brandy {optional} — not only is this optional but should you choose to use alcohol as an additive in your hot cider, you could easily use bourbon, rum or whiskey if you would rather. likewise, the amount of booze is dependent upon taste. i started out using 1/4 C for this recipe & i found it to be too little.

1 Tbsp dark brown sugar, packed

wait! before you cut your orange in half : peel a few fancy twists for garnish using a zester|knife & set them aside for later. the juice of 1/2 orange, freshly squeezed

1 apple, properly washed & cut into circular slices. i prefer honeycrisp as they are sweet & delicious but again, any apple of your choice will work perfectly.

8 juniper berries

2 heads star anise

3 three-inch cinnamon sticks

5 cardamom pods, slightly crushed

1 tsp whole all spice berries

1 tsp whole cloves

combine the unfiltered cider, brown sugar, freshly squeezed orange juice & apple slices in a large stock pot over low-medium heat. as the ingredients are slowly rising in temperate, prep the mulling sachet. combine all of your spices together using cheesecloth or muslin fabric. i prefer muslin as it tends to hold things in slightly better but either will get the job done just fine. tie it off using string or baker’s twine. add the mulling sachet to the pot. bring all ingredients to a simmer for 10-15 minutes. once hot, remove from the heat & add alcohol. serve with an orange twist & cinnamon stick for garnish, if desired. xx

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