Megan-simple hot spiced cider (with optional whiskey)

October 16 | Guest post by justanothersciencenerd

41A2sXkL8QLFor those of us in the middle of the fall season where EVERYTHING MUST BE APPLE AND PUMPKIN, here's my Megan-simple Hot Spiced Cider recipe!

What you need:

How to make the cider:

  1. Place two mugs on counter.
  2. Add two "taps" of cinnamon from cinnamon shaker per mug.
  3. Add two cloves per mug.
  4. Fill up mugs with cider.
  5. Place in microwave on high for two minutes.
  6. Stir and enjoy!

Notes:
The time in the microwave will vary. You can also heat it up on the stove, but I tend to forget about it if I do that!

I found whole cloves in a specialty Indian spice shop for a fraction of the price at the grocery store.

This cider also goes exceptionally well with pumpkin cupcakes. Here's an easy recipe that I won't take credit for.

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  1. To easily make a big batch for a party or something…. use a crock pot on the "warm" setting.

    I like to put in an apple studded with cloves, and use a loose leaf tea ball to contain the other spices.

    It's a big party hit!

    3 agree
    • My mom does that at Christmastime! She floats orange slices studded with cloves, though. This is my fast and easy version for smaller numbers of people 🙂

  2. I LOVE CIDER. I've never made it myself, but it's one of those things that, when I have a cup of fresh made and not pre-mixed, I go "I need to make this at home! Why aren't we making this at home? I need to make this…"
    Now, I know how. And in the MICROWAVE. You are a woman after my own heart.

    5 agree
  3. Ah-ha! I've been wondering about mulled wine alternatives for me over the Autumn/Winter – I bet this will totally work with apple juice instead of cider for mulled pregnancy-safe joy!

    1 agrees
    • Most cider these days is pasteurized, if that helps alleviate your discomfort. You have to buy the real stuff from behind a barn these days. Is that why you said apple juice instead of cider?

      • It's sadly the alcohol itself rather than anything else – in the UK it's advised to cut alcohol out entirely during pregnancy. However, proper mulled cider is definitely on my to-do list for winter 2014! 🙂

        • Where I live (Canada) pretty much every grocery store sells non-alcoholic apple cider in the fall, I think that's what this recipe is probably referring to. It's so much better to drink hot than apple juice!

          And if it's unpasteurized, you can just boil it for a minute and it's pregnancy safe!

          2 agree
        • In the US, apple cider (or cider) tends to refer to non-alcoholic cider (less filtered apple juice), while the kind with alcohol is called hard cider. In the UK would cider mean the kind with alcohol?

          5 agree
          • You know, that being different would never have crossed my mind – thank you for clearing that up! Yes, in the UK cider refers to the kind with the alcohol content, anything else is just apple juice of varying sorts.

            2 agree
        • OOOOOh, yes. Apple cider, not hard cider! I understand your comment now.

          Although back in the day before apple cider was pasteurized, it would eventually become fizzy and alcoholic.

  4. I hosted a meeting at my house last week and just poored (almost) a gallon of cider into a crockpot with a cinnamon stick for an hour and a half on low before people were supposed to show up. Incredibly easy and it still got compliments.

    1 agrees
  5. Am I the only one who cringes every time I see the term "Megan-Simple"? I think of simple = ignorant, gullible. It feels so derogatory and I immediately get an image in my head of some caricature of a slack-jawed doofus tripping down the street. I know she's not dumb, just not perhaps gifted in the art of cooking. How about "Megan-Approved" or even "Megan-Mastered"? ("Megan-Easy" takes on a whole different connotation 😉 )

    • We've definitely had this come up before. Someone actually said they felt guilty about using the term. HA! But the "Megan-simple" remains because basically:

      "some caricature of a slack-jawed doofus tripping down the street" = Megan in the kitchen

      So, really, it's the PERFECT description. No cringe necessary! 😉

      • Ok, good. The term seemed to be around since before I started reading this site, so I didn't think twice about! Your comments show up in the impressive green box, so I figured if you really didn't like it, you could ax that term. Maybe one day it could be retired…or not 🙂

      • I loved this descriptor because I immediately identified… If I ever invent a recipe, the label "Janae-simple" will almost certainly apply.

        • Finley Friendly! That's adorable. Ugh, if only we'd thought of that. Although that conjures up less hilarious imagery, as demonstrated in the comments above. 😉

          2 agree
  6. So let me share my family's holiday mulled wine recipe. It is almost-Megan-simple and it involves fire!

    Serves 6-8
    You will need:
    2 bottles of drinkable red wine (sweetish over dryish, but it doesn't really matter)
    1 box of sugar cubes
    1 bottle of Bacardi 151
    6 whole cloves
    4 peppercorns
    2 cinnamon sticks
    1 star anise, crushed
    1 sliced lemon (peel on)
    1 sliced orange (peel on)

    Hardware:
    Sharp knife
    1 large pot
    Ladle
    Aluminum foil
    Grill lighter (the long stick kind)

    1. Put the pot on the stove and pour in the wine. Add everything except the sugar and Bacardi. Let it simmer (not boil) for about 25 minutes until it starts smelling Christmassy.
    2. Tell your mother in law the alcohol totally cooks off. (It doesn't.)
    3. Take a big piece of aluminum foil. Fold it so that it is three layers thick, six inches wide, and can bridge over the top of the pot. Punch holes in the foil with the knife, about a quarter inch in diameter. Not big enough for the sugar cubes to fall through. Probably about a dozen holes.
    4. Tell your cousins you're going outside to light things on fire.
    5. Put the pot on a fire-safe surface (cement sidewalk, fire pit, grass, etc)
    6. Put the aluminum bridge over the pot and fold the edges down to grip the pot. Stack about half the sugar cubes on the foil in a rough pyramid.
    7. Drench the pyramid in 151.
    8. Light the pyramid on fire.
    9. The sugar will melt and caramelize into the wine below. The 151 and wine fumes in the pot will also catch fire.
    10. Dare your siblings to do swigs of 151.
    11. To add more 151 to the fire pour it into the ladle first and then pour it from the ladle onto the fire. Let everyone who wants a turn take a turn.
    12. Let the fire burn out as the last of the sugar melts. Dump any raw sugar into the pot. Discard the foil.
    13. Recover the 151 from your uncle who is breathing fire in the driveway.
    14. Back inside, ladle the wine into mugs and pick out any solids. One mug will make everyone quiet and comfortable. Two will make them full of holiday spirit(s).

    * It is possible to add too much 151 and the drink will turn harsh. I wouldn't add more than a cumulative cup and a half.
    **Yes, burning things in aluminum is *probably* not conducive to long term health. But this is a once a year treat, not a nightly ritual.

    2 agree
    • Pictures, or I don't believe that this is a thing. And works!

      4 agree
      • I've got my sister looking for pictures of our flaming holiday celebrations for proof that it works. In the meantime, I hope this will be proof that it's at least a thing. We're basically MacGyvering a traditional German beverage:

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Feuerzangenbowle
        (I may start calling it Fire Punch instead of mulled wine now)

        2 agree
        • I think, if you find pics, you just need to submit this as a separate guest post!!!

          6 agree
  7. Dont like whiskey? Use butterscotch schnapps and a little spiced rum. So F-ing delicious!

    2 agree
  8. Use dark rum, a little honey and a sliver of butter (it'll melt quickly) for Hot Buttered Rum, the best drink in the world! Cider, what a mixer among mixers.

    1 agrees
    • What. Stop. I'm trying this as soon as I get my hands on some rum.

      2 agree
  9. That's it, I'm doing all this tonight. The cider and the rum drinks, yum!
    I've heard of hot buttered rum, but I thought it was an old persons drink. I know, I'm lame cause old folks got it going on. And now seeing the description for the HBR, that sounds completely tasty and cozy like a nice big boozey wool sweater!

    2 agree
  10. I recently attended a Halloween party where the hostess served warmed apple cider mixed with caramel vodka. Best damned thing I've gotten drunk off in a while!

    1 agrees

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