Don’t let this dainty cup and fine linen fool you. This Spiked Apple Cider is some serious stuff, and I guarantee it’ll get your New Year’s Eve party started long before the clock strikes 12. I’ve had the chance to test drive the kicked up cocktail with 23 of my family members, all of whom have gathered in Colorado to toast to the holiday season. Needless to day, it’s been a big hit.
Whenever I’m in Colorado, I tend to subsist on cocktails and anything involving sugar and/or butter, especially Chocolate-Dipped Pretzel Rods and Coconut Macaroons. I like to use the altitude as an excuse for any sort of less than healthy eating. After all, doing anything at 8,200 feet above sea level is a workout, including lifting your fork to your mouth. (This coming from someone who walks up the stairs like they’re climbing Kilimanjaro.)
I can think of no better way to close the 2011 chapter on Just a Taste than with a cup of Spiked Apple Cider in one hand and a dessert in the other. This past year has been the best one yet, and I can promise I have quite the culinary lineup planned for the weeks and months ahead. Stay tuned for many more recipes and photos (and, yes, the book!) to come, and here’s to a seriously sweet 2012!
Spiked Apple Cider
Yield: 10-12 servings
Prep Time: 5 min
Cook Time: 20 min
8 cups apple juice
1 orange, thinly sliced (with rind intact)
1 Tablespoon nutmeg
1 Tablespoon allspice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 cups rum
1 large red apple
8 whole cloves
2 Tablespoons brown sugar
3 cinnamon sticks
Combine the apple juice, orange slices, nutmeg, allspice, vanilla extract and rum in a large pot set over medium heat.
Pierce the cloves into the apple. Add the apple to the pot along with brown sugar.
Let simmer until heated throughout. Ten minutes before serving, add the cinnamon sticks.
Strain the spiked cider into cups and serve.