Homemade apple cider is delicious drink that is easy to make and perfect for chilly nights. Made with apples, oranges and spices, it is a warm and cosy drink that everyone can enjoy.
Cider is my all year round favourite drink. Poured over ice, it is so refreshing during the summer. But when the temperature starts to drop, I switch to homemade non alcoholic apple cider. In England most of the cider we have available is alcoholic. There are some non-alcoholic ones available, but personally I think the homemade ones are the best. Nothing beats a mug of hot apple cider during a chilly night.
Now let me tell why I suggest making this apple cider. Firstly you can use your choice of apples. For this recipe a combination of Granny Smith, Golden Delicious and Gala apples were used. Another reason is, it is alcohol -free, vegan and gluten free. So everyone gets to enjoy it. Plus, you can make the cider to taste. Want more spice, add it, less spice, go for it. Although I wouldn’t suggest doing so. I believe the spice is essential in making this apple cider. Without it, the cider can be bland.
If I haven’t sold you on making your own cider, here’s my last attempt. It makes your home smell amazing. The aromas from the apples and spices will fill your home up with sweet scents.
What is Apple Cider
Apple cider is a beverage made from raw apples. It is unfiltered, contains the apple skin, core, and naturally occurring yeasts.
Key ingredients for Homemade Sweet Apple Cider
Fresh Apples: You can use a variety of apples or use one variety. I recommend using a mix of sweet and tart apples for the best flavour. For the sweet, I use Gala, Golden Delicious and Fuji apples. For the tart category I use Granny Smith or Braeburn apples.
Oranges: This adds citrusy flavour to the drink and balances out the apple flavour.
Spices: Star Anise, Cinnamon Sticks, Pimento (all spice) and Cloves add flavour to the drink.
Sweetener: This adds sweetness to the cider. You can use whichever sweetener you prefer. I use brown sugar for mine. Maple syrup and white sugar are also great alternatives.
How to make Apple Cider
- In a large pot add all your apples, oranges and spices. Add enough water to cover the fruit. Leave about a 2 inch space at the top of the pot.
- Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer covered for 2 hours or until the apples are soft.
- Use a potato masher to mash the apples and oranges. Cover the pot and leave the cider to simmer for about 1-2 hours.
- Strain the mixture using a cheesecloth, pressing on the solids with a wooden spoon to squeeze out all the juices. Discard the solids.
- Sweeten the cider with a sweetener of your choice.
- Serve the apple cider warm.
Add fresh ginger: This is a favourite of mine. It gives the apple cider a delicious kick,
Spike your cider : Add a splash of brandy or whisky for a fun Christmas cocktail.
For more Christmas drinks, check these out:
Homemade Sweet Apple Cider
- 12 apples, washed and cut into wedges
- 1 orange, quartered
- whole all spice
- star anise
- 90- 180 grams (½-1 cup), brown sugar
- In a large pot add the apples, oranges, cinnamon, whole all spice, star anise and cloves. Cover with water, leaving about an inch or two of space at the top of the pot.
- Cover the pot and bring to a boil over high heat . Reduce the heat to low and leave to simmer for 2 hours. Add water if needed to keep the fruit covered.
- With a potato masher, mash all the apples and oranges. This releases more flavours. Cover and leave to simmer for another hour.
- Strain the solid through a fine mesh strainer or with a cheese cloth, pressing on the solids with a wooden spoon to squeeze all the juices out. Discard the solids.
- Stir in your sweetener. Taste for sweetness and add more sugar if desired.
- Serve your apple cider warm with sliced apples and oranges if preferred.
- To store, allow the cider to cool to room temperature, then transfer to a jug covered and then refrigerate for up to 5 days or freeze for up to 3 months.