To get home to Berkeley by the 11th (and my dad’s 50th bday party) I had to switch around an exam and schedule my flight for about 24 hrs after my last exam. As you can imagine this left very little time for goodbyes, cooking, and life in general. Still, I wanted a chance to say goodbye to my buddies and my two beloved roomies that are leaving us so I had a little holiday party. I love hosting people and I always feel the need to have something for my visitin pals to eat but I found myself in a tight spot. My exam ended at about 6 and people were coming over at 8, which didn’t really leave any time to cook something substantial enough to feed the 25+ people I was expecting. So what’s a girl to do? I know my friends wouldn’t hate me if I didn’t have anything to feed them BUT I knew I wouldn’t feel great about it. What do you do when you can’t make food for the masses? Make a drink for them instead! I looked up a recipe for eggnog and while it didn’t look too complicated, the whole pasteurizing then chilling thing looked a bit time consuming. SO I decided hot apple cider would be my best bet. Not only would it be heartwarming and delicious, it would also be good for any of my friends with weird food allergies…AND it’s cheap! Peeeeerfect
Drinks in general are pretty easy to make but I think hot apple cider is especially easy. It’s not fussy and doesn’t need to be stirred while its cooking so you can just crank up the heat and go socialize! I read quite a few recipes with quite a few different combinations of spices until I came up one that seemed just right: just some juice, water, ginger, lemon, and cinnamon. Sounds good right?
Lucky for me, apple juice was on sale so I stocked up on 4 boxes. I also had plenty of ginger and a lemon on hand so it seemed like it was meant to be! I poured my juice and water (3 parts juice 1 part water) into my handy dandy stock pot and sliced my ginger and lemon. I put the ginger and lemon in a tea ball so I wouldn’t have to strain them out before serving the cider.
With all my ingredients in the pot, I turned it up to medium-high and brought it to a boil, then turned it down and left it to simmer for about 20 minutes. While it was cooking I took some time to hang out with my lovely friends. What a nice way to usher in the holidays!
After twenty minutes of simmering my cider was hot, steamy, and smellin good. I tasted it and was beyond pleased.
Once it was ready it was descended upon by my friends and gone within about 30 minutes. Next time I’ll definitely make more! It was so simple and easy that I’ll definitely be busting it out again this holiday season. Make it! Love it!
The next day was spent also saying goodbyes, packing, and…getting a haircut! I hadn’t gotten my hair cut in almost a year so this was quite a big deal for me. My hair dresser did an awesome job and styled it really well. I took a photo to commemorate it cause honestly…it’s never going to look like this again unless I somehow score a personal stylist. If I ever become rich/a celebrity chef I will make sure I always have AWESOME hair…and lots of apple cider.
Easy Hot Apple Cider
Adjusted (barely) from Making This Home
- 4 liters of apple juice
- 1 1/3 liters water*
- About half a thumbs worth of fresh ginger, thinly sliced
- 1/2 a lemon, thinly sliced
- 1 cinnamon stick
In a large stock add juice, water, and cinnamon stick. Place sliced ginger and lemon into a tea strainer or tied cheese cloth (this helps as you don’t have to strain it out of the cider when it’s done). Place strainer into pot. Turn heat up to medium-high and bring cider to a boil. Once it reaches a rolling boil turn it down to medium-low and let cook for about 15-20 minutes. Serve hot.
*I went with the suggested 3-1 ratio and it turned out quite well. If you find it too strong or sweet add more water