The Mouthful: Apple Cider is so Hot Right Now

When it comes to fall drink appreciation, hot apple cider all too often gets the short end of the stick. By the time the first leaf turns brown, the masses have already lined up for their caramel hot cocoas and their vanilla chais, and we all know just how cultish pumpkin spice latte drinkers can be.

But the humble mug of cider receives nary a peep of recognition. This is nothing short of a travesty, seeing as hot apple cider is pretty much the most wonderful drink of all time. Cider cuts out the frothy, milky middleman and offers a bigger punch of autumnal awesomeness per sip than any of its competitors. Furthermore, cider is not nearly as heavy or sweet, so you can quaff it all day long with impunity.

Despite its qualifications, cider can be downright hard to find in cafes this time of year–a perfect excuse to try out your own recipe. It’s a scientific fact that, over the course of human history, nobody has ever regretted putting a pot of cider on the stove on a cold October morning, so give it a shot.

It’s important to use an apple cider as your base, not apple juice. Cider is cloudier than apple juice and can be found in the refrigerated section of the grocery store. Spices can be found in the bulk section of natural stores such as Central Co-Op, though this recipe is adaptable. Add or remove spices to your heart’s content.

Hot Apple Cider

1 jug apple cider
1 orange peel, sliced
7 whole cloves
2 cinnamon sticks
2 tablespoons maple syrup
4 whole allspice berries
Pinch of nutmeg

Pour apple cider into a large saucepan. Add all other ingredients. Place over medium-high heat until almost boiling, then reduce heat to low and simmer for at least 15 minutes. Either drain cider through a strainer or remove spices with a slotted spoon.