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Cider House Rules at This Brisk Time of the Year

November 2, 2012 By:
Eileen Goltz, Jewish Exponent Feature
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When my boys were younger, we had hot cider for them and the neighborhood kids after a hard day playing in the leaves. Now that my kids are out of the house and I’m doing  all the raking (yeah, right), I’ve decided to invite other “parents of children too old to do the chores we don’t want to do” over to share stories of epic piles of laundry that engendered shock and awe to all that beheld them. 
I felt that the appropriate fall beverage to serve would be cider, but cider with a twist and a kick.
All of the following recipes are rated ADULTS ONLY as alcohol is a key component. While they are perfect for keeping the cold at bay after a hard day with the leaf blower, they are also wonderful for Thanksgiving.
Hot Apple Cider With Rum
1 Granny Smith apple
2 tsps. whole cloves
1 orange, thinly sliced
2 quarts apple cider
1⁄2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp. allspice
pinch grated nutmeg
1 cup rum
cinnamon sticks, garnish
Push the cloves into the apple and place it in a saucepan. Add the sliced orange, apple cider, brown sugar, allspice and nutmeg.
Whisk to combine and bring to a boil and then immediately reduce to a simmer. Simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and remove the apple. Add the rum and whisk to combine.
Ladle into 6 to 8 mugs and garnish with a cinnamon stick. Serve hot.
Serves 6 to 8.
Cider Strudel Cocktail
(Pareve or Dairy)
1 oz. orange, lemon or plain vodka
6 oz. apple cider
1 Tbsp. water
ground cinnamon
powdered sugar
1 apple
1 caramel apple dipping sauce (optional)
In a microwave bowl combine the vodka, water and apple cider. Add one dash of ground cinnamon and whisk to combine.
Microwave until hot about 30 seconds but do not boil. Dip the rim of a hot beverage glass with powdered sugar, then ladle the warm cider into the rimmed glass.
Dip a slice of the apple in the caramel dipping sauce and use it with a dash of cinnamon as a garnish.
Serves 1. This recipe can be doubled.
Cider Punch
2 quarts apple cider
1⁄2 cup brown sugar
1⁄4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. whole allspice
1 tsp. cloves
3 sticks cinnamon
1 dash of nutmeg
dried apple slices
In a tea strainer combine all the spices. In a large saucepan, combine apple cider, sugar and salt. Add spices.
Bring slowly to a boil. About 20 minutes. Turn down the heat to a simmer for 20 minutes. Discard spices. Add cinnamon stick and dried apple to each mug.
This can be made ahead of time and reheated when needed, but don’t boil.
Serves 8.
Golden Apple Punch 
1 pint vodka
1 pint apple brandy
2 bottles sparkling apple cider
red apple slices
Into each glass, pour 1 tablespoon vodka and 1 tablespoon apple brandy over ice.
Add sparkling cider to fill, and a red apple slice.
Serves 30. 

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