Hot Apple Cider
with warming spices
10-15 apples, chopped and core removed (multiple varieties)
2 L water approximately
2 tbsp cardamom (pods opened/crushed)
1-2 cinnamon sticks
2 tbsp fresh ginger, roughly chopped
4 star anise pods
Maple syrup to taste
Non-alcoholic apple cider is essentially unfiltered apple juice that is typically served warm and brewed with seasonal spices, like cinnamon.
When I lived in Vancouver, I would almost always attend the annual apple festival at the University of British Columbia. It was there that I learned about apple varieties that I had never even heard of, and enjoyed warm cups of hot apple cider in the autumn sunshine. I was missing that ritual this year, and decided to create comforting apple cider at home.
I had this idea that making apple cider would be difficult and involve special equipment, but after some research was pleased to learn that it is actually quite easy. In this recipe, I decided to add warming spices, like cinnamon, cardamom, and ginger. While that isn’t necessary, I would highly recommend it both for flavour and aroma. I have made this recipe a number of times, and have used a different assortment of apples each time, so be creative. I particularly liked mixing sweet apples, like Pink Lady, with tart apples, like Granny Smith.
Makes approximately 2 litres
Directions for apple cider
- Add all ingredients to a pot, bring to a boil and then reduce to a low simmer.
- Simmer for 2 hours, and then mash the apples
- Simmer for another 30 minutes to an hour, and then strain with a cheesecloth.
- Add maple syrup to taste.
- Store in a jar in the fridge, and use within a week.
- It is best enjoyed warm, and I would recommend adding a splash of rum for a lovely nightcap.
Further ideas and modifications
- You could consider adding the spices in for the last 30 minutes to make the flavour milder rather than simmering them the whole time.
- Adjust the amount of apples and water to the pot you have on hand.
- You can add orange peel, or a whole orange to the simmering cider if you want to bring in citrus notes.
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