Those of you who get our monthly Fire Cider e-newsletter (sign up on our home page; it's really just a monthly discount cleverly disguised as news about Fire Cider!) know that we celebrated Dana's birthday early this month with a happy hour at our house. The kegorator Dana built this summer was perfect for serving a crowd!
I made bar snacks and also some Lamb's Wool, a hot drink my friend Kate always made at her holiday parties. This hot mulled cider gets it's wooly look from peeled, cored apples slowly cooked into soft, delicious clouds. Kate's family tradition has become one of my favorite hot drinks- the mulling spices add extra warmth, and the apples are delicious.
You can certainly enjoy this all ages beverage as is or add in the optional ingredients at the end to get the full warming effect! This recipe will yield about a gallon- we didn't have any leftovers!
- 1 gallon apple cider, preferably from a local orchard that doesn't use chemicals!
- mulling spices to taste, we used: 2 whole star anise, 3 whole cinnamon sticks, 1 shy tablespoon dried orange peel, a few whole cloves, 5-8 whole allspice. You can throw them in loose or put them into a spice bag/tea bag first.
- about 5-6 peeled, cored apples
- 16 oz bottle of Fire Cider
- 750 ml bottle of Bourbon or Whisky
- or...whatever you like to spike your cider with!
Peel and core the apples, leaving them as whole as possible. I peeled by hand, sliced each apple in half and scooped out the seeds and hard bits. A peeler/corer, the hand cranked kind, would be perfect here.
Add all the apple cider, mulling spices and apples to a large heavy bottomed pot. Bring to a gentle simmer and let it go until the apples have really started to break down; they are about half way there in the picture. I left the lid on most of the way while they cooked, so just a little steam could get out.
You don't want to reduce your cider too much, or it will get thick. If that happens, just add more apple cider. When the apples are starting to break apart into wooly clouds, turn the heat to low and leave it there; it's ready to serve.
Grab a big mug and scoop in some cider and some apple pieces. Garnish with a fresh cinnamon stick.
Add a tablespoon or 3 of the Fire Cider and some Bourbon or Whisky to taste. Happy weekend!
Dana's kegorator filled with two homebrews and filtered soda water.