Homemade Spiced Apple Cider
- 10-12 apples (a mix of sweet and tart varieties like Granny Smith and Gala works well)
- 1 orange, peeled and sliced
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 1 whole nutmeg 6-8 whole cloves
- 1/2 cup brown sugar or sweetener of your choice (adjust to taste)
- Nut Milk Bag
- Wash the apples thoroughly and cut them into quarters, including the cores and peels. You don't need to worry about removing seeds or stems.
- Place the apple quarters, orange slices, cinnamon sticks, whole nutmeg, and cloves in a large stockpot or Dutch oven.
- Add enough water to the pot to cover the ingredients completely. It's okay if the apples float a bit; they will soften as they cook.
- Stir in the brown sugar or your chosen sweetener to taste. The amount you use will depend on your preference and the sweetness of the apples.
- Place the pot on the stove over medium-high heat and bring the mixture to a boil.
- Once it's boiling, reduce the heat to low and let the mixture simmer for about 1 to 2 hours. Stir occasionally and keep an eye on it to prevent it from boiling over.
- As the mixture simmers, your kitchen will be filled with the wonderful aroma of apple cider. The apples will become soft and mushy.
- After simmering, remove the pot from heat and allow it to cool slightly.
- Use a potato masher or the back of a spoon to mash the apples and oranges to extract as much flavor as possible.
- Strain the cider through a fine-mesh strainer or a piece of cheesecloth into another pot or large bowl, discarding the solids. You may need to strain it a few times to remove all the solids.
- Taste the cider and adjust the sweetness and flavor with more sugar or spices if desired.
- Serve your homemade apple cider warm. You can garnish it with a cinnamon stick or a slice of orange if you like.