It’s that time of year! If it’s a cold and cozy afternoon, I love to simmer apple cider on the stove. I keep this alcohol-free so it works as an after-school warm up for kids. For a hot toddy later in the day, add an ounce or two of bourbon to your mug. When we are skiing in winter, it’s one of my favorite cold weather aprés sips. I like a mellow Four Roses if you opt for a nip of something in your glass.
Years ago, I was gifted this copper pot and it’s the perfect size for this recipe. It never gets put away and sits on the side of my stovetop. And the bonus of never polishing it? Everyone asks if it’s a vintage French pot. Nope! Just owned by a frazzled woman juggling all the things.
I like to slice the apples in rounds because they have the prettiest star pattern in the middle. No need to core the apples; if you slice them thin you can use the tip of a paring knife to easily pop out the seeds.
Use almost any kind of apple juice, although, in fall and winter you can find wonderful unfiltered apple cider.
Head to Instagram to watch me put this recipe together in real time! I also posted a reel today.
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Hot Spiced Apple Cider
- 2 quarts unfiltered apple juice preferably organic
- 4 star anise
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract or vanilla paste
- 2 apples sliced
- 1 ounce bourbon, whiskey, rum, calvados or apple brandy
- In a large pot, warm the apple juice with the remaining ingredients. Let simmer on medium-low heat, uncovered, for 20 to 30 minutes to let the flavors come together.
- To serve, ladle into mugs. Serve topped with a slice of cooked apple from the pot or a cinnamon stick stir.
- To make a hot toddy, add an ounce or so of bourbon to each mug.