Apple cider is a drink with ancient roots, with its boozy relative ‘hard cider’ being drunk as early as 55 B.C. in Britain when the Ancient Romans invaded the country. The version drunk now at farmers’ markets across the United States is quite different of course: gloopy, sweet, thick and hot. And, really, it’s a delicious drink for fall to keep out the cold. Here’s our favourite apple cider recipe.
A spicy mix
- 8 large apples or 10 medium ones
- 3 sticks of cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon cloves
- 1 orange
- 2 tbsp granulated sugar
A slow cook!
1. Take your orange and peel it, putting the segments into a large, broad-based saucepan. Then, wash your apples and cut them into quarters, removing the seeds as you go. Place into the saucepan.
2. Time to add the spices. Put in the cinnamon, cloves and sugar, as well as enough water for the fruit to be fully covered. On the sugar, how much to put in is really up to you. This is a relatively small amount as we don’t like it too sugary, but up to 100g is an option if you want it sweeter.
3. Cook the whole lot on a very low heat for between 5 and 7 hours – check on it after five to see how it’s doing.
4. This part of the cooking process is finished when the fruit is extremely soft and you then need to use a big spoon (or potato masher) to break it all done and get the fruit to release its juice. Once you’ve done that, cook it again for another hour.
5. After that, strain the cider – a muslin cloth or fine sieve will do fine. The solids are a bit unpleasant and mushy at this point, so just chuck them. Your cider is now ready to go.
Variety is key
To get the best tasting cider, mix up the type of apples used. A combination of sweet and more tart apples makes for the best flavour, as they give the cider genuine depth and subtlety. It’s also worth knowing you can keep cider in the fridge for a week or two before it goes bad, so don’t be afraid to make a lot.
If you fancy trying some of the harder stuff, then head down to OverEasy, where they have a great selection of alcoholic cold ciders (as well as good food!)