Whether served cold or hot, apple cider is a staple for the holiday season. I've found that most bottled ciders are too plain. The homemade spiced syrup in this recipe elevates and adds the complexity needed to wow your guests. This is one of my favorites because the whole family can enjoy it together as a nonalcoholic beverage.
Technique tip: Occasionally stir the mixture, as the spiced syrup may settle at the bottom.
Swap option: Turn it into an adult beverage by adding 12 ounces of vodka. Try serving this cocktail hot by placing over medium heat for 5 minutes or until the mixture lightly bubbles.
For the spiced syrup:1.
Mix sugar, cinnamon powder, nutmeg and allspice in a 32-ounce container.2.
Add cloves, peppercorns, star anise and cinnamon stick and add 1-1½ cups hot water.3.
Close the lid and shake vigorously to infuse while hot until the powder dissolves. Let the syrup cool completely, then strain and transfer to a sealed container.
For the apple cider pitcher:1.
Add apple cubes to pitcher. Pour liquid ingredients into pitcher.2.
Fill pitcher with ice and stir ingredients.3.
Pour mixture over ice in rocks glass or serve hot in coffee mug.4.
Garnish with apple slice, cinnamon stick and cinnamon powder.