Are you finishing up your final projects before spring break and starting to really start missing home and your mother’s hot spiced cider? Well, let me help you with your longing of home and help you get through that paper or that lonely night. No, I not going to date you but rather, teach you how to make your own spiced cider to warm you and your friends up near that fireplace in your dorm.
3 C. cider (I preferred organic that is slowly pasteurized)
1 T pure maple syrup
1/2 tsp of lemon extract or half a lemon zested
1/2 tsp of orange extract or half an orange (skin) pealed in small slices
4 to 5 all spice berries
3 whole cloves
2 cinnamon stick cassia or Ceylon cinnamon (if you want sweeter cider)
First you start off by measuring out the cups of cider. I just guess by using a mug that I will be drinking out of to measure out the 3 cups. Put this in a pot of appropriate size that has a lid. Turn on the stove to around 3 on the heat scale. We want the cider to start steaming but not to simmer or boil. While it heats up add the maple syrup and stir. Add the rest of the ingredients. We want to let this heat up for 10 minutes to help get the spice’s flavors out and into the cider.
After the 10 minutes are up, pour the cider through a strainer into your cups. Remember the cider will be hot so, be careful while drinking so you don’t pour it on yourself.
I want to explain why I prefer organic cider that is slowly pasteurized over other versions. I feel that the slower you pasteurize the cider the less you destroy the cider’s flavor. I actually favor raw non pasteurized cider if you can get your hands on it or if you make it yourself.
The difference between cider and apple juice is that cider is not filtered where apple juice is filtered. So, for instance, Tree Top cider that looks clear is not actually cider but just apple juice that has a different label on it. Organic cider with the sediment on the bottom of the container is real cider. Sometimes, you will find organic apple juice with sediment on the bottom that is also cider just named apple juice. Cider and apple juice, from my knowledge, are not regulated terms by the FDA so that is why there is confusion. The reason why I use Cider instead of apple juice, is that I can taste the difference. The sediment has lots of vitamins and lots of wonderful flavors that truly complete the taste of the apple juice.
Also I use pure maple syrup because if it just says maple syrup on the bottle it most likely is made with high fructose corn syrup which I just don’t like that taste of and messes with the texture of the drink. Not to mention, high fructose corn syrup is not good for you.
I hope this simple recipe will encourage you to warm yourself on the cold winter nights of Oregon. You never know you may make a new best friend.