Need something to warm you up during this artic blast?

Published January 21, 2014 by jenmatteson

We had a long awaited drink tasting party at our house in December, with a Secret Santa theme.  We’d already had a holiday drink theme a few years ago, so we wanted to keep it holiday-ish, but also not do the same theme we’ve had in the past.  What we did was draw names out of a hat to decide who had who as a Secret Santa.  Each couple or person was assigned a secret ingredient from their Secret Santa, which was required to be in their drink.  We definitely had some interesting ingredients – wasabi, lychee fruit, Chinese five spice (what we assigned :P), and then we had some main stream ingredients, such as ginger and oranges, which is what we were assigned.

Though we had a pretty common ingredient, we still wanted to make something somewhat creative, so we made a spiced cider with brandy.  I wasn’t really sure that I liked brandy before this experiment, but it goes perfectly with this cider recipe.  Nate and I have made it on Sunday to drink with the early football game!

It’s mostly a combination of spices you’ll already have in your collection, plus cider, oranges and brandy.  Pretty simple, right?  Oh, and it tastes so good, especially if you are nursing a cold!

Spiced Cider with Brandy

Orange You Glad this Cider has Brandy In It?

(Sorry, we couldn’t come up with a better name, and I wanted to use my secret ingredient in the title – lame, I know)

Source: Adapted from Unknown Source (Nate found it and was never able to find it again :()
Servings: 8-10

Ingredients:

12 cups apple cider
1/2 cup orange juice
1 orange, cut into rounds
2 tbsp. brown sugar
2 cinnamon sticks
2 whole cloves
1 oz fresh peeled ginger
1 1/2 cups brandy

Directions:

1. In a deep saucepan, mix all ingredients except brandy.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low.  Simmer for 30 minutes.  Strain cider into mugs and serve with a dash of brandy, if desired.

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