You guys, we’ve earned it! We have officially survived the heat and insanity of summer ’16, and it is time to celebrate. And by celebrate, I mean make a very large batch of spiked cider and invite over all of your closest people to help you drink it. This recipe takes our favorite flavors of fall—cinnamon, orange, cider, cloves and brown sugar—and turns them into a fizzy cocktail that will get everyone feeling the season. There’s truly no better way to welcome in the crisp air, seasonal allergies, and children dressed as horrifying monsters begging for candy than with this cocktail.
All you’ll need is a punch bowl (we used a Dutch oven as pictured), a ladle, and a bunch of those little clear cups to serve it all in. While this recipe is plenty strong enough on its own, whenever we make a punch-style cocktail, we keep a bottle of the spirit being used (in this case rum) on the serving table so that folks can feel free to spike their own cocktails, because we’re in New Orleans, after all. Enjoy!
Spiked Cider 75
(Serves about 65, or one drunk aunt)
- 1.5 liters apple cider
- 1.5 liters (two 750ml bottles) aged rum
- 4 bottles sparkling wine (cava works great)
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- The peel of three oranges
- 15 whole cloves
- 1/3 cup dark brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
In a large pot, combine the cider, brown sugar, cinnamon sticks, orange peels, cloves and vanilla. Bring to a boil over medium heat. As soon as the mixture begins to boil, reduce the heat to low and let simmer for about 15 minutes. Remove from the heat, strain out and discard the spices and orange peel, and let cool completely before using.
If you're planning to serve this at a party, add the rum to the cooled cider mixture and transfer to a punch bowl or pitcher. To serve each guest, pour equal parts cider mix and sparkling wine into each glass. To make the full 65 cocktails, you'll need to use about 1.5 oz. of the spiked cider and 1.5 oz. of the sparkling wine in each glass. If you're up to it, garnish with an orange peel or apple slice.