Spiced Apple Cider

Cozy inside
It's true:  as the weather gets colder and colder and colder, I find myself in the kitchen brewing up something warm to drink:  Hot Chocolate; Tea, Coffee, Glöggi (a non-alcoholic version, in my case made with blackcurrant juice, and found in other parts of Europe) or this one - an American favorite:  Spiced Apple Cider.

Now I know that you can by a powder-filled packet of spiced apple cider and add hot water; stir.  And  I know that you can buy a bag or box or tin of Mulling Spices, drop a few spoonfuls or tea-strainer full into a pot of Apple Cider and simmer for a while, and they will probably be just fine.

But for a really nice treat made from spices you may already have in your cupboard, you can get a beautiful Spiced Apple Cider that amps up your expectations of what Spiced Apple Cider should be.

Serve this up with the last of your Christmas treats - e.g. Coconut-Chocolate Pinwheels
I prefer to use the cloudy apple cider - I get mine in a 3-liter box from Eat & Joy Maatilantori in Helsinki city center - you can probably find it by the liter or the gallon in any decent grocery store.  I don't like it overly sweet to start - you can add sugar to taste as you go.  This is easy and delicious.  

Spiced Apple Cider

5 cups / 1 liter of Cloudy Apple Cider
2 whole star anise
1 cinnamon stick
6 cardamom pods
6 whole cloves
6 whole black peppers
6 whole allspice (optional)
2 tablespoons of candied ginger (can substitute 1" / 2.5 cm chunk of fresh ginger if you prefer)
1 orange, sliced or 6 slices candied orange peel (omit sugar if using)
2 tablespoons of sugar or more to taste

Pour the apple cider into a medium sized pot and bring to a boil.  Reduce to a simmer, add the spices and cover.  Allow the cider to simmer with the spices for 15 minutes.  Remove from heat and remove the lid.  Allow to rest for 5 minutes.  Ladle into mugs and serve.

Serves 4

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