Alabama got cold, y’all.
I usually can’t say these words until January. But the nation was hit by a brutal cold mass of yuck and we got the arctic blast of cold air. Of course, I’m still wearing tan lines from Colorado in June so I’m wasn’t ready for all that nonsense. I was ready for the hot drinks. When it’s this cold, my only decision is cider or cocoa. I love to try as many variations of both of these. Cooking Light came through with a hot spiced cider that also had the lemon I needed for this cold that is still hanging around. You can always leave out the spirits. In the privacy of my home where all I have to do is walk to my down comforter, I like a little rum warmth flowing through my bones.
This is a HUGE pot of cider. I put it in the slow cooker on warm. On the stove, you will need a large stock pot. I reduced the sugar from the original recipe. The fruit juices are plenty sweet for my family.
- Place first 3 ingredients on a double layer of cheesecloth. Gather edges of cheesecloth together; tie securely.
- Combine cheesecloth bag, cider, and next 5 ingredients (cider through salt) in a large stockpot; bring to a LIGHT BARELY-THERE BOIL. Do not let this boil heavy or long. The fruit juices will turn bitter and scald. Reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes. Discard cheesecloth bag. Serve with rum, if desired.