Hot Spiked Cider
Published by Workman
Soaking the dried apples in calvados or applejack adds a kick to this smooth, mellow rum drink.
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.
Total Timea day or more
One Pot MealYes
OccasionBuffet, Cocktail Party, Family Get-together
Taste and Texturefruity, spiced, sweet
Type of Dishalcoholic beverage, cocktails
- 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
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.
2004 Nick Mautone