Few foods evoke such rich images of fall for me as apples (with the notable exceptions, of course, of squash and brussels sprouts.) Here in Washington state, we are blessed with an abundance of delicious apples which also means fabulous fresh apple cider. I enjoy a nice, cold glass of apple cider now and then but, when the weather turns cold, nothing beats a spicy mug of hot spiced cider. In this recipe, apple cider is simmered with sweet spices including cinnamon stick, cloves and allspice. For a twist, I have also added sliced fresh ginger and orange which give this cider a flavor all its own. Next time the rain starts pouring or a really thick fog rolls in, wrap yourself up in a blanket, grab a great book and have yourself a comforting and tasty mug of this hot apple cider.
Hot Spiced Cider
Ginger Snap Cookies or Orange Scones


8 cups unfiltered apple cider
2 cinnamon sticks, about 2 inches each
10 whole cloves
8 whole allspice berries
a 2-inch piece of fresh ginger, thinly sliced
1 orange, sliced
additional orange slices for garnish (optional)

Cooking Instructions

In a large saucepan combine the cider, cinnamon sticks, cloves, allspice berries, ginger slices and orange slices and gently simmer the mixture for 15 minutes. Strain through a fine sieve into mugs. Garnish each mug with a fresh orange slice if desired. Serve hot.

Makes 6 servings (about 8 cups)



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The term, apple cider, historically referred to an alcoholic beverage produced when apples were pressed and the resulting liquid was allowed to ferment. Fermented apple cider is now called hard cider. Today, apple cider typically refers to the unfermented and unfiltered liquid produced by pressing apples (when filtered, it becomes what we commonly know as apple juice.)

Most cider sold in grocery stores is pasteurized allowing it to have a longer shelf life but some say this alters the flavor somewhat. Cider from fruit stands or farmer's markets is most likely un-pasteurized. Children, elderly and pregrant women should stay away from un-pasteurized cider but, for the rest of us, it is not much of a concern.

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