Holiday Cider Recipes

Recipes are often the core of many family traditions throughout the holiday season, as they are tied to a certain memory or special loved one. For some, it's a specific cookie and for others, a savory casserole.

Whatever your holiday favorite may be, it's important to pair it with a beverage that's equally satisfying. Apple cider is a classic go-to drink this time of year. With a few added ingredients, you can make it your own and create a new family tradition.

Try these holiday-inspired cider recipes to help you serve the spirit of the season to your closest family and friends.  

Start all 5 recipes with 3 simple ingredients:
    - Apple cider
    - Orange slices
    - Cinnamon sticks

Hot Spiced Cranberry Cider
Start with 2 quarts of apple cider, 1 orange (thinly sliced) and 4 cinnamon sticks. Then add:
    - 6 cups of cranberry juice
    - ¼ cup packed brown sugar
    - 1 ½ teaspoon of whole cloves

Bring the ingredients to boil, reduce heat and then simmer for 15-20 minutes. Using a strainer, remove cinnamon sticks, cloves and orange slices. Serve warm.
Caramel Apple Cider
Start with 4 cups of apple cider, 1 whole orange, and 2 cinnamon sticks. Then add:
    - 5 medium apples
    - 4 cups of water
    - ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
    - ¼ teaspoon ground allspice
    - 1 whole clove

Prepare this holiday cider in a slow cooker. Allow to cook for 6-8 hours on low heat. Mash apples using a potato masher one hour before serving. Strain contents and then stir in 1/3 cup of brown sugar and 1/3 cup of caramel. Serve with whipped cream.

Holiday Wassail
Start with ½ gallon of apple cider, 1 orange (thinly sliced) and 4 cinnamon sticks. Then add:
    - ½ gallon cranberry juice
    - 1 cup lemon juice
    - 1 ¼ cups pineapple juice
    - 24 whole cloves
    - ¼ cup honey
    - ½ cup white sugar

Bring ingredients to a boil and then immediately reduce heat to a simmer for 15-20 minutes. Add 1 teaspoon nutmeg, 1 teaspoon ginger and 1 teaspoon allspice. Garnish with orange slices and mint leaves.

Mulled Cider
A recipe for your adult holiday guests, start with 3 cups of apple cider, 1 orange (sliced) and 2 cinnamon sticks. Then add:
    - 2 cups of dry, red wine
    - ½ cup of pure maple syrup
    - 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorn
    - 1 medium apple

Combine ingredients and simmer over medium heat for 10-15 minutes. Serve warm.

Apple Cider Moscow Mule
For a stronger holiday twist, serve this cider by the cup. Start with 2 ounces of apple cider, 1 orange (thinly sliced) and 2 cinnamon sticks. You'll also need:
    - 2 ounces of vodka or gin
    - 5 ounces of ginger beer
    - Splash of lime

Squeeze lime into a Moscow Mule copper mug that's filled with ice. Pour apple cider, ginger beer and choice of alcohol over ice. Garnish with orange slices and cinnamon sticks.

The Dirt from Troy-Bilt®
December 2016