My apple cider mouth memories entail campfires and tales of old.
I vividly have a memory of a man cloaked in shadows telling us stories about olden men in spurs galloping across the planes with nothing but grits and hardened cow meat. They rode horses into battle and streamed alpha water across the lands they conquered (think about it). He was a prop at the Christmas time of Fredericksburg, Texas, but I soaked up the memory as a happy one nonetheless. We sang carols on the bus rides to and from the little tour, and then would go to a light walk that had a little hut with elves and Santa. The first two or so years we snuggled into Santa’s lap and told him of our gift wishes. Then when we no longer wanted to sit in an old bearded man’s lap when year three came.
The best memories of these Christmas trips, and the most vivid, are of the campfire.
Not because of the stories but because at the end we would get apple cider and cookies. I remember wishing he’d speed up the story just so I could cling to that warm cup of cider while my body shivered at the cold until the warmth flooded through me. The cider was sweet cinnamon with apple tastes and the cookies were also warm and served by an older grandma looking lady. I let her adopt me as a grandchild and we whisked off to cider land. I came back just to share this recipe though…kind of. Actually that wasn’t true at all. Also Santa might not be real.
Now that I’m old enough to create my own cider and bring it to upcoming Halloween and Christmas parties I want to have a cider that sticks in friend’s and families minds just the same.
The largest fulfillment a human can have from creating for people is when it also nourishes those you love. This apple cider is controlled by you and thus free of anything to be scared of. Unless of course you want a Halloween version. Then you could use some as the liquid in a Halloween cake. I’m working on a slow cooker apple cider cake soon 😉
Currently all the friend’s I’ve shared this warm liquid love with have also tried to get me to adopt them. That also isn’t true, but I’m sure it’s because I’m not old enough to look like a grandma yet. When I do though I’ll set up campfires and serve this cider with almond butter cookies.
3 Cinnamon Sticks (See notes)
6-8 Apples (See recipe notes)
1 Whole Nutmeg
1/2 Teaspoon Sliced Ginger (Optional)
1 Teaspoons Cloves
1/2 Teaspoon Whole Allspice (Optional)
6-8 Cups Fresh Filtered Water (Quality Matters)
- Rinse your apples clean.
- Chop up your apples into fourths. Since they’ll be strained out you don’t need to deseed or destem them.
- Put in all of your spices into a nut bag or tied up cheese cloth. You can also just toss them in and strain them out later.
- Cook on low for 7 hours or high for 4 hours. Go for the low if you can for maximum spice infusion.
- One hour before finished use a hammer or solid object to smash the apples against the side of your slow cooker.
- Wait for the slow cooker to cool (or use oven mitts) and strain out the spices by ladling them out through a cheesecloth or even using a colander set over a large pot. I’ve also used a tea pot by ladling it into the tea strainer and working in batches.
- Store in the fridge or on the counter (mine has been on the counter at least a week).
A Cinnamon stick
Gin (My Favorite)
Turn into a Cake
Types of Apples:
You can use red apples for a mild flavor or green ones for a more tart flavor. I used a mixture but think a pure form would do really well. Will report back.
2 sticks will also work, especially if you plan to serve it with a stick of cinnamon. I just really love for the cinnamon to be brought out.
P.S. You can hide with the cider and I won’t judge you for drinking it all.
Add Spices and Apples to your Slow Cooker (or put them into a nut bag)
Fill with Water (use feet to tilt the slow cooker for better lighting)
Slow Cook on Low for 7 Hours of High for Four Hours
An Hour Before Finished Smash Apples into the Side