Websterâ€™s dictionary defines cider as: â€œthe expressed juice of fruit (as apples) used as a beverage.â€Â Cider makes me think of fall and riding up into the mountain orchards of Virginia for baskets of apples and cider. The crisp air was full of the wonderful aroma of fresh-pressed apples.
When the children were small, they would stand and watch the men and women work the apple presses in awe.Â Baskets full of apples turned into a sweet, pulpy beverage.Â We would bring it home and it would keep wonderfully. Usually it was consumed alone, with soda or blended with other juices and spices. Cider can also be used in place of water in tea recipes both hot and cold.
Fizzy Apple Soda
4 ounces apple cider
2 ounces clear lemon lime soda
Blend cider and soda together and serve over ice.
Classic Mulled Apple Cider
One cinnamon stick
Zest of one orange
6 Whole cloves
1 quart apple cider
1/3 cup brown sugar
Place cinnamon, zest, and cloves in a muslin spice bag and set aside. Heat cider in saucepan with brown sugar until sugar is melted. Add spice bag to hot cider and steep on low until cider begins to steam, turn off heat and cover. Check the mulled cider for sweetness â€“ remove spice bag and serve in heated mugs.
* Heated mugs â€“ fill mugs with hot tap water and set aside- empty when ready to fill with cider
If you ever plan to make your own cider I strongly recommend:
Cider: Making, Using and Enjoying Sweet and Hard Cider Book â€“ by Proulx and Nichols â€“ this guidebook is designed for the beginner or the novice.