Makes about 16 mugs (8 ounces each)
1 gallon fresh apple cider or unfiltered apple juice
1 medium orange
1 (1 1/2-inch) piece fresh ginger
5 (3-inch) cinnamon sticks
1 tablespoon whole cloves
1 tablespoon whole allspice berries
5 star anise pods
Bourbon or brandy (optional)
Orange slices, for serving (optional)
Pour the cider or juice into a 5-quart or larger slow cooker.
Cut the orange into 1/4-inch- thick rounds. Cut the ginger into 1/4-inch- thick slices. Add both to
the slow cooker.
Add the cinnamon sticks, cloves. To make it easier to serve, place the cloves and star anise pods
in a tea ball first, or place in a double layer of cheesecloth or coffee filter, gather it up into a
sachet, and tie closed with kitchen twine.
Cover the slow cooker and cook until the flavors meld, 4 hours on LOW. Let sit for 10 minutes
for the flavors to meld. Keep warm and serve in mugs garnished with orange slices. If you would
like this recipe boozy, you can add 1-2 ounces to each mug before you pour the cider in.
Bourbon is my favorite, though brandy is quite tasty as well. I could even imagine a dark rum
would be nice.
You can also make small batches. Preparing it this way is equally as easy. You’ll put in as much
apple cider as you think you’ll need in a simmering pot, the juice of a half or whole of an orange,
all of the spices and bring the mixture to a generous boil. After boiling for a few minutes, bring
the boil back to low and let the mixture simmer. This not only speeds up the process, so that you
don’t have to wait hours for your autumnal experience, but it makes it so that you only have to
prepare as much as you think you’ll need. All you have to do is add in your bourbon or brandy if