Cozy Up With Homemade Apple Cider

Steaming hot apple cider on a table with apples

For millions of people, fall is the time of the year they enjoy the most. The air is cool and crisp, smoke billows out of chimneys, and it’s a time to celebrate Halloween and Thanksgiving. This is also when people visit craft festivals. And after a long day, they settle down in front of a fire with a hot cup of homemade apple cider.

What Is Apple Cider?

Apples are the main ingredient in this delicious beverage. Not only is it unsweetened and unfiltered, but it also contains no alcohol. Even so, it has a natural sweetness that’s enhanced when served hot. Although you can find cider at any grocery store throughout the year, it’s better when made from scratch. It’s not hard to do.

Choosing the Right Type of Apples

Choosing the right type of apple is one of the most important things when making homemade apple cider. If you don’t, you could end up with a beverage that’s too sweet or bitter. The key is to select apples with the strongest flavor. Two of the top choices include Granny Smith and Honeycrisp apples. Also, choose unbruised fruit that’s firm. For the freshest fruit, visit an apple orchard. If you don’t have those types of apples on hand, you can use others but that means losing some of the amazing flavors.

Additional Tips

To make homemade apple cider, you’ll need a large pot. If you only have two medium pots, they’ll do. However, you’ll need to use them both for the recipe provided below. The thing you want to avoid is having the cider boil over. In addition, you’ll need a potato masher to smash the apples. A wooden spoon also works, but it requires more effort.

Boiling the Apples and Adding Other Ingredients

Peeling the apples before boiling them is a common mistake when making homemade apple cider. You want to leave the skin on as this gives the beverage a more robust flavor. Cut 10 to 12 apples in quarters (remove any seeds), and place them in the pot. Cut four navel oranges in halves and add them to the apples. You’ll also need to put four cinnamon sticks, 1/2 cup of brown sugar, and one teaspoon each of whole cloves, nutmeg, and allspice in the pot. Then, add just enough water to cover all the ingredients. After bringing the liquid to a boil, cover the pot with a lid, reduce the heat, and simmer for two hours.

The Next Step

After simmering for two hours, set the pot aside. Remove the orange halves. Take the apples out and with a potato masher, smash them well. Return only the apples to the pot and simmer for an additional hour but this time without a lid.

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Finishing Your Homemade Apple Cider

To finish making the apple cider, place the ingredients in the pot in a fine mesh strainer. With the back of a wooden spoon, apply pressure to get all of the juice out. With that done, you’ll throw the solids out. You can also add them to a compost pile or toss them outside for wild critters to eat. Now comes the exciting part. Pour warm apple cider into your favorite mug and enjoy. You can store the cider in a plastic airtight container in your refrigerator for about two weeks.

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