By Chef Selwyn Richards
Every holiday party needs beverages to go with the wonderful foods, and Christmas is no different. Rather than serving soft drinks or alcoholic beverages, why not serve traditional Spicy Apple Cider at your Christmas party this year?
Apple cider is made from apples and does not contain sugar. Normally, you would drink it un-filtered. You may also find that you enjoy heating, mulling or spicing your apple cider to make it even more special, during the holiday season. This easy recipe can be made in about an hour, and will be a welcome addition to your celebration.
Rind strips from one lemon
1 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice
1 gallon of apple cider
2 tablespoons of light brown sugar
20 whole cloves
5 cinnamon sticks – about 3 inches each
1/8 teaspoon of ground all-spice
1/8 teaspoon of nutmeg
1/2 cup of apple brandy (optional)
1. Place the cloves, cinnamon stick pieces, all-spice and nutmeg into a pouch, made from a piece of muslin or close-weave cheese cloth. (Adding the spices in a bag will make removing them later much easier, however, this step isn’t necessary.)
2. Put the pouch into a large pot and then add the rest of the ingredients, except for the brandy. Bring the mixture to a boil.
3. Once the mixture has started boiling, reduce the heat and allow the liquid to simmer, for approximately 20 minutes.
4. Remove the pouch, run the liquid through a sieve to be sure you have removed all of the cloves.
5. The Spicy Apple Cider is ready to drink at this point for children and those who do not drink alcoholic beverages.
6. However, if you are adding brandy, now is the time to add it.
7. Stir in the brandy and then pour the apple cider into serving mugs.
8. If you like, you can garnish the apple cider with additional cinnamon sticks.
Selwyn Richards is an award-winning master chef. He is also the President and Executive Chef at The Art of Catering Inc. and is the author of “The Art of Cooking: Soul of The Caribbean”. Chef Selwyn can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone — (905) 619-1059.