Saturday, October 24, 2009

Hot Apple Cider

On a dark and stormy October evening there’s nothing better than a steaming mug of hot apple cider to keep you warm.

The roots of cider as we know it can be traced back to the Norman Conquest in 1066 when cider was brought to Britain from Normandy. By the seventeenth century the production of cider was still thriving, particularly in southern England, and was made from apples and pears.

Hailing from England, the Puritans and Pilgrims that traveled to the New World in the early seventeenth century brought with them many English customs, including the production and consumption of cider. Cider, among other alcoholic beverages, was a daily part of the colonists’ diet in New England. In 1740 an English visitor to Boston observed that “the generality of the people” drank cider “with their victuals.” Few households had the equipment to make cider and many colonists procured their cider from a local cider mill. Cookbooks of the era also contained recipes and instructions for making cider.

The cider we drink today is generally nonalcoholic unless we specifically purchase or make “hard cider” that has undergone fermentation. However, that delicious apple goodness is still a large part of the fall season in New England and New York where apple orchards abound. Rather than going through the process of fermenting cider, try this tasty recipe using regular cider that can be purchased at any orchard and just add a little spiced rum if you wish.

1 apple

2 teaspoons whole cloves
1 orange, sliced
2 quarts apple cider
1 teaspoon allspice
½ teaspoon nutmeg
Cinnamon sticks for garnish
Spiced rum (optional)

1. Stick the cloves into the apple.

2. Combine all the ingredients except the cinnamon sticks in a pot over low heat and bring the mixture to a simmer.

3. Allow the mixture to simmer for at least ten minutes to let all the flavors combine.

4. Ladle out the deliciousness and add a cinnamon stick for garnish. (Optional: add a splash of spiced rum)

So sit back with your warm cup of cider, listen to the October rain, and maybe even pop in a scary movie as you indulge with this tasty autumnal beverage.

1 comment:

  1. Yum! Sounds like a great drink for Halloween weekend.