Winter is coming and with it comes the crisp cold air that could chill us to the bone if not for our puffy jackets, mittens and scarves. Of course, we’re lucky enough here in the South that we only need those on a few winter days.
What I like about this time of year is the changing flavors and aromas. Gathering in a warm house surrounded by family and friends, I love the smells coming from the kitchen — roasting turkey and honey-baked ham, earthy potatoes and collards, spicy cloves, sweet apples; it’s enough to warm every soul in range.
When it comes to winter beverages for a crowd, one can never go wrong with a cider kept warm in a Crock-Pot. Coming in from the cold to be greeted by the fragrance and flavors of oranges, cinnamon, allspice and apple will invite everyone to relax.
This cider recipe is versatile because you don’t add your spirit of choice until you prepare your cup, if you choose to add it at all, allowing people of all ages to enjoy it. And it is very flexible as to the type of spirit you can add.
If you want your cider to be spiked more on the spice side, then a rye or Irish whiskey is what you’re looking for. If you want something a little sweeter, then add your favorite spiced rum, bourbon or brandy. No matter what you choose, the memories of those family gatherings and dinners will continue long after everyone else is gone.