Last week, I went to my aunt's for a holiday get-together and my cousin made spiced cider. It was yummy and warm and I thought it would be great to make some for a holiday gathering we hosted at our house this past weekend.
So I went to allrecipes.com and searched for spiced cider. I clicked on the one that had been rated the highest and saved it to my profile (which, incidentally, I appear to have created in 2004 and haven't accessed in YEARS).
Oh. My. God. It was SO GOOD. (And yes, we added rum, which I will warn you is dangerous because the tastes just meld together and you can barely tell you are drinking anything alcoholic.) It was like drinking Christmas and childhood memories and snowflakes all at the same time. (Well, not snowflakes, but hopefully you get my drift.)
Without further adieu, the spiced cider recipe.
12 cups apple cider (196 oz)
1/2 cup real maple syrup
4 cinnamon sticks
12 whole cloves
12 whole allspice berries
2 orange peel, cut into strips
2 lemon peel, cut into strips
1. Pour the apple cider and maple syrup into a large stainless steel saucepan.
2. Place the cinnamon sticks, cloves, allspice berries, orange peel and lemon peel in the center of a washed square of cheesecloth; fold up the sides of the cheesecloth to enclose the bundle, then tie it up with a length of kitchen string. Drop the spice bundle into the cider mixture. (I made my own "kitchen string" by cutting up strips of the cheesecloth.)
3. Place the saucepan over moderate heat for 5 to 10 minutes, or until the cider is very hot but not boiling.
4. Remove the cider from the heat. Discard the spice bundle. Ladle the cider into big cups or mugs, adding a fresh cinnamon stick to each serving if desired.
Darn it if I didn't forget to take a picture. Guess I'll have to make another batch!