You can usually find me out and about exploring New England, but sometimes I enjoy staying home in the comfort of my cozy apartment, especially when it’s chilly out. I’m no pro, but I do like to experiment in the kitchen a lot these days now that I finally have a live-in taste tester, a.k.a. my boyfriend!
Last night, Nick and I were hanging out at home when I opened my fridge to a gallon of apple cider I had purchased a couple days before. I thought, what better way to warm up on a cold New England night than with some hot apple cider with a twist?
The only liquor I had on hand was a bottle of white wine, so I set out to explore the internet and see what I could find in combining the two. I found a great recipe for “Hot Spiced Drunken Apple Cider” on Food52.com, but realized I didn’t have all the ingredients. I refused to give up on my idea, however! I just decided to go with an adaptation of this recipe based on what I did have.
The ingredients I ended up using were:
- 1/2 gallon of apple cider (per the Food52 recipe)
- 3/4 bottle of white wine (per the Food52 recipe…they suggest a semi- sweet white wine or one that’s not overly dry – all I had was Cupcake Angel Food and it worked for me!)
- 2 1/2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon (the original recipe calls 4-5 sticks of cinnamon, but I only had ground…1/2 teaspoon is about equal to one stick, so says the internet)
- 3 tablespoons of honey (per the Food52 recipe)
Step One of the recipe is to add the cider and spices in a pot and bring to a boil. So, I added the cider and cinnamon, stirred it up, and set the burner on. I felt like it was starting to burn a bit, and because I used ground cinnamon it was developing a coating, so I didn’t bring it to a full boil but close enough. I am meticulous in most aspects of my life, but oddly when it comes to the kitchen, I sometimes stray from being exact.
The next step was to reduce heat and let simmer for about 10 minutes, which I did. I originally added a little too much cinnamon and it kept building a layer (don’t worry, I’ve altered the ingredients above to be correct if you’re using ground cinnamon like I was). However, upon tasting, it seemed fine so sometimes mistakes aren’t so terrible!
The third step was to add the wine while the concoction was on low heat. The recipe said to just continue letting it simmer afterwards, so as not to let the alcohol evaporate. I let it simmer for a few minutes when the craving and delicious scent of the cider and wine mulling was just too much to not imbibe right then and there.
I filled up Nick’s glass first in an initial mug I had gotten him at Michael’s craft store, and added a Halloween colored straw for the final touch. He absolutely loved this drink, and I must say, so did I!
Although I didn’t have all of the correct ingredients, it still tasted amazing and warmed our hands, tummies, and souls on that cold autumn night. This goes to show, if you are dead set on cooking something up, even if you don’t have all the right ingredients (within reason), there can be ways to work around it and make something delicious! I often find this is the case for me, and I’ve never been disappointed with my version of things. Cheers!