Fall is in the air! And pumpkin spice dominates the shelves at the grocery store! This time of year makes us want to huddle together, cuddle up, and sip some hot apple cider. But can you just heat up apple cider? Today, we’ll tackle the topic of cider and learn the tips and tricks to making and enjoying this timeless fall beverage.
What is apple cider?
Apple cider is not just apple juice. It is made by pressing the apples and extracting the juice, which results in a slightly thicker and richer consistency. It is a popular drink during the fall because that is the time of the apple harvest. Traditionally, this time of year brings all things apples, from caramel apples to apple pie, apple dumplings, and of course, apple cider. Why not make a drink of apples, too!?
Can kids drink apple cider?
Yes! The apple cider sold in stores in the produce area is non-alcoholic. Our kids enjoy this warm and toasty beverage right along with us because they love the sweet, crisp apple taste. Always check labels though for safety because some brands may have a hard cider that contains alcohol and therefore not safe for children.
Can you just heat up apple cider?
Yes! The crisp, sweet apple taste intensifies when you add heat to it. Don’t boil it, though. We don’t want any burned lips on Thanksgiving! A low simmer works best to bring out that rich fall taste and provide a warm cup to sip. If you simmer long enough, you’ll cook down the cider enough to bring out even more flavor the same way you would cook down the liquid in a soup. A longer simmer equals more flavor!
Is just heating up cider the best way to enjoy it?
No! The fun of drinking hot apple cider is what you add into it! Why just stick with plain apple flavor, when you could add cinnamon, ginger, cloves, nutmeg, star anise, vanilla, and the list goes on and on! Some people even add orange peels or apple peels to make their own unique fall aroma and taste. You may even consider adding a tablespoon or to of brown sugar to give a hint of molasses. Plus, heating up your cider with a variety of fall spices adds a beautiful autumn aroma throughout your whole house in the same way a simmer pot would work.
how do you heat it up?
Heating up apple cider is easy if you have the right tools. First, you need a good saucepan. I like Carote pans because they’re free of chemicals, lightweight, and evenly distribute heat so whatever I’m cooking doesn’t burn at the bottom. See the exact pan I used for this recipe here. Second, you’ll need a strainer. Any fine mesh strainer with a handle will work. When you want to enjoy a warm cup of cider, pour your cider and any additional ingredients in your saucepan and simmer on low heat. Don’t put the lid on it. You want it to cook down some to develop stronger flavors and deliver a nice smell throughout your house.
How do you drink hot apple cider with all that stuff in it?
Easy! You use a strainer! Once your cider is simmered for as long as you want it, strain the liquid through a strainer into a jug. All the spices and peels are left behind, giving you nothing but liquid apple-y gold! I love to keep my steaming mug of hot apple cider close to my nose so I can inhale the aroma and the comforting steam all at once while I wait for it to cool enough to sip it.
Can you store cooked cider?
Yes! Cool down any unused apple cider to room temperature before placing in an airtight container and storing in the fridge for up to 4 days. To reheat it, just place in a saucepan and simmer away. No need to add additional spices since it’s already been spiced up in the first cooking.
Try my Spiced Hot Apple Cider recipe below and comment on how you like it! Share this recipe and article with other fall-loving cooks out there, too!
fall spiced apple ciderCourse: DrinksCuisine: AmericanDifficulty: Easy
You’ll be fully immersed in fall with this comforting, fall spiced hot apple cider.
4 cups apple cider
1/2 tablespoon whole cloves
1 cinnamon stick
1 star anise
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ginger
2 tablespoons brown sugar
orange peel to taste
- Pour the apple cider in a saucepan and simmer on low heat.
- While simmering, place the rest of the ingredients in the pot with the cider and stir.
- Strain the liquid through a strainer when desired temperature is reached.
- Serve hot apple cider in mugs.
- Get creative with spices.
- Adjusts the amounts of each spice to suit your preference.