It’s friday eve and you deserve a cup of drunken homemade apple cider!
Homemade apple cider is a little labor of love. It’s mostly hands-off, but it requires a lot of wait time.
You will never be more excited for a cup of this.
At the risk of sounding repetitive (um, except my whole blog is very repetitive), I won’t ramble on and on about how much I love apple cider.
Pretty sure I’ve proven it over and over throughout the years.
To make this apple cider, I used this recipe for pear cider that I really love. It is very time consuming (and you can probably do most of it in a slow cooker!) but completely worth it for homemade cider. It’s incredible served hot or cold.
And while I’m almost always team iced-apple cider, occasionally I love a cup of hot cider.
Okay okay, it doesn’t always have to have bourbon. But when it does, it’s extra warming and delicious. Because this is the best time of year.
One of the reasons I love this recipe is because it uses vanilla bean! You split a vanilla pod right into the cider and even after straining, the beans stay in there and give it so much flavor.
See all the little vanilla bean flecks? It’s freakishly good.
This is one of those recipes that you can simmer on the stove and it will have your whole house smelling fabulous. And one that you can actually consume! I will never forgot years ago going on a Christmas house tour with my mom – and one of the houses had cider simmering on the stovetop. They gave everyone a glass and not only did it smell amazing, it was SO good. I’ve always wanted to make apple cider ahead of entertaining guests and then place it back on the stove to heat up and serve.
It’s like magic edible potpourri!
You must must must try. It’s a fall hug in a cup.
Homemade Apple Cider
Yield: 8 people
This homemade apple cider is made with honeycrisp apples, spices and vanilla. It’s incredible served hot or cold, especially with a pour of bourbon!
- 10 whole honeycrisp apples, cut in half, seeds and stems removed
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 3 cinnamon sticks
- 2 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1 teaspoon whole cloves
- 1 vanilla bean pod, split open
- ⅓ cup of your favorite bourbon
- caramel for drizzling
Combine the apples, sugar, cinnamon sticks, whole cloves, vanilla pod and allspice in a large stock pot and cover with water. You want the water to be about 2 inches higher than the apples. Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce it to a simmer and cook for 1 hour uncovered. After 1 hour, you can mash some of the apples (they should just fall apart). Cover the pot and simmer for another 2 hours. Make sure it is completely covered, or else your liquid will evaporate!
After 2 hours, let the mixture cool slightly. Strain it through a fine mesh sieve (I did so twice) to remove the solids. Some of the solids may remain. You can strain it through cheesecloth one more time if desired. At this point, you can put it in a new pot or transfer it to a large jug and stir in the bourbon. You can also add the bourbon on a cup–by-cup basis – I like to start with ½ to 2 ounce per glass. Serve it hot with cinnamon sticks or cold over ice.
Store the cider in a sealed container or jar in the fridge. It will stay good for about a week!
Ooooh and you can drizzle caramel on the rim too. AHHH.