Its that time of year again when summer shorts turn into a light jacket and the wind has a refreshing bite to it. While we of course love our coffee and tea time, its also the perfect opportunity to dive into something a little more seasonal. Something fresh out of the orchard and poured into a hot, steamy mug with a cinnamon stick garnish. We’re talking about cider season!
Hot cider is actually more than just a great tasting beverage. The health benefits of apple cider are beneficial – coming from phytochemicals. These phytochemicals- phenolics, flavonoids and carotenoids may reduce instances of chronic disease. Someone who includes apples in their diet is at a lowered risk of cardiovascular disease, asthma, diabetes and possibly even some forms of cancer. Apples are also a source of antioxidants, protecting the body from damage caused by free radicals.
Apple cider is also easy to dress up for your holiday parties. Nothing will warm your guests up like a mugful of spicy, sweet simmering cider. (Bonus, you can add an adult kick to your cider with anything from bourbon to pinot grigio. For some great recipes, check out this great article via Buzzfeed: 21 Boozy Cider Drinks To Try This Fall
If you’re looking to create a quick, non-boozy version of this great drink, here are some quick tips.
•Have a cinnamon stick handy. Not only will it release flavor into your cider, cinnamon is rumored to help curb sickness and contains natural germ-killing powers.
•Feel free to mix cranberry or other juices into your cider to add a little flavor.
•Spice up cider by mulling it with some spices. Beyond cloves and cinnamon, you can also use sweet star anise, pink peppercorn, cardamom pods, or spicy ginger
Photo Credit: John Kernick for MarthaStewart.com
We suggest warming up cider on the stove and giving yourself a moment to draw in some of the smells as you tinker with different flavors. Simmer. Sip. Enjoy!