I have confessed before and I will confess again, I adore apple cider. I am not ashamed of my great love. And I do not mean that nasty stuff that comes in powder form in a little rectangular packet that you dump in some boiled water. No, no. That stuff is vile. It tastes like you are drinking...a holiday candle...
No, I mean the hot, steaming, in a chilled mug, at a fall fair, filled with spices that tickle your nose as they mix with the lingering scents of fried dough, onion rings and hay that fill the crisp air, kind.
But moments like that come just barely once a year. I love hot mulled cider WAY too much to sit around all year waiting for the perfect fair atmosphere.
So here is what I do. I make my own, easier version at home (like, minus giant carafe, the fair and the varied background scents). And it's pretty darned good, if I do say so myself. And I am about to share that method with you.
Here we go:
First you must get some apple cider- the average comes-in-a-gallon-at-your-local-grocery- store type.
Pour it into a microwaveable coffee mug and stick it in the microwave for Two and a Half minutes (really, you COULD do it in a pot on your stove top, but lets be realistic. This is the 21st century. The microwave generation. Of course I am telling you to put it in the microwave...)
While it's heating up get a tea ball - you know, one of those (http://http://www.accordtea.com/images/ac700px/infuser%20ball.jpg) little doodads for holding tea leaves- and fill it up with
- 8-10 whole cloves
- 1-2 cinnamon sticks, broken up (those little guys can be hard to break up, so if you decide to do it with say, a knife, and you hack off an appendage, I am not to be held accountable.)
Then get your cider out of the microwave, add in a "bloop" -we don't measure in my family...a bloop is like 1-2ish tablespoons - of Orange Juice (I personally like the pulpy kind but...whatever you want...).
Put the tea ball in and let those tasty little spice-y critters flavor up your cider for something like 3 minutes.
And then just like that, you have some mad good hot apple cider in your own personal mug and you didn't have to wait in line for it. If you want fried dough and onion rings, you get to figure that out yourself.
And just as I am not responsible for limb loss, I will also not be responsible if you make the mistake of putting the tea ball in the microwave. You heat it up, take it out and THEN put the metal ball in, safe away from radioactivity...
Don't say I didn't warn you.
And don't be scared. Cider flavoring is perfectly safe. Feel free to try this at home!