It’s December, and that means it’s the season for twinkly lights, yummy food, gatherings and good drinks.
Obviously, a bunch of those things will not be happening this year, but I’d argue that this year, more than ever, we need some extra cheer.
I don’t know if you’ve noticed this in your neighbourhood, but it seems like people are putting up Christmas lights and decorating earlier than ever. I get it. We all need some cheer, and more than that, something to look forward to.
Parties (unless they’re virtual) will be a thing of the past this year, but I’m hopeful I’ll be able to at least eat Christmas dinner with a small group of family. I’ve also booked a staycation on the Island for Michael and I, though we both know it’s very possible that may be cancelled.
We are badly in need of Christmas cheer, and I have just the thing.
I recently attended a virtual workshop put on by Simply Bare Organics, where we made three different cider recipes. This one was my favourite, and Michael really loved it, too.
It’s a citrusy mulled cider with a sweet kick.
You could, by the way, make this more adult by adding booze. I would consider rum, bourbon, or something orangey like Grand Marnier to play off of the citrus notes in the cider.
It makes for a very pretty drink when you use a transparent glass to serve (I am loving these new double-walled glasses I recently bought), and drizzle the inside of the glass with the caramel before you pour in the cider.
For this recipe, we just melted down regular caramels over a double boiler, but you could also use a bottled caramel sauce or you could even make you own. You just want the consistency to be thick enough that it sticks to the walls of the glass, at least for a while, before dissolving.
One last thing: this would make a great virtual Christmas activity to do with family or friends. Just buy multiple ingredients, then put together boxes, one for each household, and drop them off. Then book a zoom date when all of you can make the cider and enjoy it together virtually.
Citrus Caramel Apple Cider
Makes one serving
- 12 oz apple cider (I love Taves)
- 4 oz orange juice
- 1 tbsp brown sugar
- 1 slice of lemon
- 1/2 cinnamon stick
- 1/2 vanilla pod, split
- 1/2 tsp whole cloves
- 1/2 tsp allspice
- caramel to drizzle
- In a medium pot over medium heat, place the cider, sugar, orange juice, lemon and spices. Bring up to the boil, then reduce to a simmer.
- Allow to simmer for 10 minutes, uncovered.
- An alternate way to do this is to put all the ingredients into a slow cooker (in this case, quadruple the recipe and make multiple servings), and allow to cook on low for about an hour.
- Melt the caramel over a double boiler, if using solid caramel. Drizzle the inside of a pretty glass with the caramel drizzle/sauce.
- Using a fine mesh strainer, strain the cider into the glass.
- Garnish with a lemon twist and serve.