This winter has been an abnormally warm one, but we have seen our share of colder weather, and my inner romantic loves the idea of settling in for cold weather with a book and a hot drink. Unfortunately, I don’t have a fireplace, so I just have to settle for curling up in my chair with a book and something warm. Some of my favorite drinks for these evenings is some warm apple cider or warm wassail (which is made of apple cider). This drink brings back memories of being in high school and attending Denton’s annual wassail festival in the square with my friends. It also reminds me of cold mornings in undergrad when professors would bring apple cider into the newsroom to try to get us to drink less coffee. Apple cider is surprisingly easy to make, and the delicious smell of apple cider is an added plus for my apartment.
What you need:
– 12 apples of assorted types (I used Red Delicious, Granny Smith and Gala apples)
– 2 oranges
– 4 cinnamon sticks
– 1 whole nutmeg
– 1 tablespoon whole cloves
– 1 teaspoon whole allspice
– 1 gallon of water
1. Quarter the apples and oranges and place in a large stock pot.
2. Add all the spices.
3. Fill the pot until almost full with water.
4. Put the pot on medium-high heat until it’s at a simmer.
5. Lower the heat to medium low and cover. Let it simmer for two hours.
6. Using a masher or the side of a spoon, mash the apples and oranges.
7. Let simmer for another hour.
8. Strain the mixture into a clean container.
9. Stir in sweetener, if needed.
When it says use a large stock pot, it really means use as large of a pot as possible. I made the mistake of using too small of a pot and it overflowed quite a bit, then I couldn’t make as much apple cider as I wanted. I think I ended up with about 2 liters of apple cider at the end of it all. The other caveat to this recipe is how expensive and hard it is to find whole nutmeg. I think I had a container of four or five of them for $12, which is probably one of the most expensive spices I’ve ever had to buy. I also used honey to sweeten my apple cider, but it was sweet enough on its own.