A Little Yule Cheer: Hot Spiced Apple Cider

I love sipping a steaming drink when it’s chilly outside, especially if I can do it while siting beside a twinkling Christmas tree. As a matter of fact, I’m sipping a delicious beverage as I write this post. It’s so mellow and satisfying and so easy to make, it would be selfish of me not to share the recipe with you. The base of the beverage is apple cider, which is simmered briefly with fresh orange slices, cinnamon sticks, star anise and whole cloves. The whole process takes approximately 15 minutes, resulting in a spiffed-up cider that will tickle your tongue and warm your soul.

Hot Spiced Apple Cider

  • 1 quart fresh apple cider (4 cups)
  • 1 orange, thinly sliced
  • 2 star anise
  • 6 whole cloves
  • 5 cinnamon sticks
  1. In a medium saucepan, combine the apple cider, orange slices, star anise, whole cloves and one cinnamon stick, broken into 2 in. pieces.
  2. Heat the mixture over medium high heat until just beginning to boil.
  3. Immediately reduce the heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes.
  4. Remove the pan from the heat. Remove and discard the spices and orange slices.
  5. Pour the cider into four mugs. Add a long cinnamon stick to each mug.
  6. Serve piping hot.

Some notes:

1. This recipe is easily adaptable to big batches. If you want a gallon of spiced cider, quadruple all ingredients.

2. I have a small sieve that I place over my mug. Then, I ladle from the pot to my mug without removing any of the goodies. This allows all the spices to continue to steep if I’m not serving the whole batch at once.

3. Leftover spiced cider can be stored in the fridge for later. Rewarm on the stove or in the microwave when you are in the mood for more warm appley sweetness.

4. The star anise is pretty but not necessary. If you don’t have any on hand, don’t sweat it. I’ve made this cider many times without star anise and it’s still delish.

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