This is a one pot part dessert and part cold weather cocktail. My spiked and spiced apple cider with a side of poached apple is exactly what I want to be drinking on a chilly Friday night, after a long day of skiing, or on Christmas eve. Cooked low and slow with fragrant winter spices, bourbon, and whole apples, this is the most flavorful warm cider you’ll have all winter long. After you’ve stewed the cider mixture with the apples, turn the cooked whole apples in a “deconstructed” apple pie. Both a little buzzy from the bourbon and a little lighter than the real thing.
- 1 bottle of apple cider
- 1/4 cup bourbon + more for cocktails
- 2 Tbsp. mulling spices (can be found in your grocer's spice section)
- 3 cinnamon sticks
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar
- 3-4 large apples, peeled 1/3 of the way
- 1 large lemon
- For dessert:
- Candied walnuts, chopped
- Vanilla Ice Cream
- Caramel Sauce
- In a medium sized sauce pan, combine the apple cider, sugar, 1/4 cup bourbon, mulling spices and cinnamon sticks.
- Peel the apples, leaving a small area that will stick out of the top. Rub the apples with lemon so they don’t brown.
- Stick apples into the poaching liquid and allow to cook, covered, on medium/low heat for 45 min.
- Carefully take out the apples and strain the cider. Discard the mulling spices and place the cider back into the pan and keep on stove, with the heat off. Place the apples in a covered container until ready to serve.
- To make the cocktail, place cider into a cup and add in a shot of bourbon. Stir with cinnamon stick and serve with additional apples if you’d like.
- To make the dessert, reheat the apples in the apple cider. Place the poached apple or part of a poached apple onto a plate or cup. You may want to serve an entire apple to each guest. Customize with any of your favorite apple pie like items: walnuts, granola, ice cream, caramel sauce.