Want a true drink that reminds you of fall? Try apple cider! The clean crisp taste of apples can be bottled and you can do it too. Not only that, but you can make your own apple cider drinks.
Apple cider is a refreshing drink that is mostly drunk in the fall of the year. There are several different types of cider that you can have a taste of:
- Unpasteurized – Sold at apple orchards and roadside stands. As fresh as they come!
- Hard cider – This apple cider is allowed to ferment. Yeast is added to give it a little kick.
- Hot cider – Boiled apple cider that has spices added to it for a better taste. Boiling also makes it pasteurized.
- Sparkling cider – Apple cider and carbonated water.
Here are a few tips when making your own cider. The equipment you need is probably already around your home. Gather a sharp knife, cheesecloth, a large bowl, a blender and at least four dozen apples.
- Choose your apples – Which apples you choose will depend in the taste that you want. For a sweeter taste to your apple cider try Red Delicious and Fuji apples. Combining tarter apples like Granny Smith and McIntosh along with Golden Delicious will deepen your flavors. Choose apples that are ripe without blemish, soft spots or any other damage.
- Use them right away – If you have an apple tree, pick the apples when you are ready to make the cider. Also, visit your local farmer’s market for fresh picked specimens of the varieties you like.
- Prepare your apples – Wash them well, to remove any pesticides from the skin. Use a corer tool to remove the center of the apple and making slicing easier; and cut the apple into slices.
- Blend them – Place the apple slices, with skin, into the blender. Chop up until the pieces are small but bigger than the openings in the cheesecloth. If you grind it up too fine then you will end up with sediment in the bottom of your cider.
- Strain your apples – After blending all of your apples, place a piece of cheesecloth across a large bowl. Strain your apple mixture. If you have one, use a cider press. You may need to squeeze a bit more to get all of the juice out of the pieces.
- Pasteurize your cider – You can drink your cider as is or pasteurize it. Boil the cider to about 160 degrees Fahrenheit. Cool and refrigerate.
- 6 cups apple cider
- 1/4 cup real maple syrup
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 6 whole cloves
- 6 whole allspice berries
- 1 orange peel (cut into strips)
- 1 lemon peel (cut into strips)
- Pour the apple cider and maple syrup into a large saucepan.
- Place the cinnamon sticks, cloves, allspice berries, orange peel and lemon peel in the center of a square of cheesecloth and fold up the sides, then tie it up with some kitchen string.
- Drop the spice bundle into the cider mixture.
- Place the saucepan over moderate heat for about 5 to 10 minutes, or until the cider is very hot but not yet boiling.
- Remove the cider from the heat and discard the spice bundle.
- Ladle the cider into big cups or mugs, adding a fresh cinnamon stick to each serving for garnish.