Picture this: it’s a crisp fall evening and you are getting ready to settle in under a blanket and watch your favourite TV show or movie. Or maybe you prefer YouTube videos of the cute little goat knocking down his playmates ; regardless – I don’t judge you, you don’t judge me. Perhaps you would love a hot bevy, but it’s too late for caffeine. You think about all the Pinterest recipes for hot apple cider made in a crockpot or simmered on the stove for hours, but it’s already dark and like so many other things on your to do list, the “put on crockpot of apple cider” box did not get checked off today. Not to worry, I have the solution – a quick and easy hot apple cider cheat.
It all starts with a good apple juice. If you are the juicing-type, go ahead and chuck some apples into your juicer. If you are new to juicing, you might want to check out which apples produce the best fresh juice. If you are like me and your only means of juicing something involves putting it in a Ziploc bag and smashing it with a baseball bat, then you may want hit the grocery store and pick up some pasteurized, unfiltered, fresh-pressed apple juice (way less messy). You’ll want to choose one with no added sugar, preservatives, water, or concentrates. When you look at the ingredients list, it should say “apples” and nothing else. Then head over to the tea aisle for a box of mulled apple herbal tea. If you want to get fancy, you could add a cinnamon stick or two to your cart.
I don’t need to put an formal recipe in this post because I’m sure you’ve figured out my cheat. It goes something like this: pour your apple juice into a microwave safe mug, add a mulled apple herbal tea bag and cinnamon stick and heat it until piping hot. I let the cinnamon stick and tea bag steep in the apple juice while I’m drinking, and the flavour just gets stronger and more delicious as I drink.
Everything about hot apple cider says “fall”. If you want even more seasonal bliss, enjoy your cider with a pumpkin muffin, or this decadent apple crumble with toffee sauce. Don’t worry about the calories, fall wants you to have extra calories for successful hibernation for winter.
I know I won’t be getting out from under my blanket once the snow starts to fly, unless it’s to make another cup of hot apple cider.