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Hot Spiked Cider

Updated February 23, 2016
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Soaking the dried apples in calvados or applejack adds a kick to this smooth, mellow rum drink.

Glassware: Mugs

Planning ahead: The drunken fruit must sit in the refrigerator overnight.

Straight up: Calvados is a dry apple brandy made in Calvados, in the Normandy region of northern France, and considered one of the world's greatest. Calvados is double distilled in a pot still, then aged in limousin oak for a minimum of one year; some are aged for 40 years. Calvados is often used for cooking, particularly in chicken, pork, and veal dishes.

Applejack is a potent brandy made from apple cider and ranging in strength from 80 to 100 proof. In the United States, applejack must spend a minimum of two years in wooden casks before being bottled.

CostModerate

Easy

Total Timea day or more

One Pot MealYes

OccasionBuffet, Cocktail Party, Family Get-together

Recipe Coursebeverage

Moodfestive

Taste and Texturefruity, spiced, sweet

Type of Dishalcoholic beverage, cocktails

Ingredients

  • 8 large dried apple rings
  • Small handful dried currants (optional)
  • 4 ounces calvados or applejack (see Straight Up)
  • 64 ounces fresh apple cider
  • 12 whole cloves
  • 6 whole star anise
  • 3 cinnamon sticks
  • ½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar for dredging the apple slices
  • 24 ounces dark rum
  • 8 extra-long cinnamon sticks

Instructions

Place the dried apples and currants in a large plastic zippered bag, add the calvados, and seal the bag. Allow to steep in the refrigerator overnight.

When ready to serve, gently warm the cider and spices in a pot–do not allow the mixture to boil. Meanwhile, remove the apple slices from the plastic bag and dredge each in the brown sugar.

Pour a healthy shot of rum into each mug and add the cider. I do not mind if the mulling spices get into the finished drink, but if you prefer your drink without the spices, you may pour the cider through a fine-mesh strainer into the mugs. Float one or two sugared apple slices on each drink, spoon the currants over the apples, add a long cinnamon stick, and serve.

Spiked Pear Cider: Prepare the hot spiked cider using pear cider in place of the apple cider, Poire William (a pear eau-de-vie) instead of the calvados, and dried pears instead of the dried apples.

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