A New York Cider Country Recipe – Winter Cider Punch
This heady combination of citrus, cider, rum, and spices is a great cold-weather pick-me-up. Makes 1 1/2 quarts; about 12 servings.
3 oranges (use blood oranges, if available)
2 lemons (Meyer lemons, if available)
One 3-inch cinnamon stick
6 cardamom pods
6 allspice berries
6 whole cloves
6 cups apple cider
1 cup light rum
Sugar, if necessary
Remove the zest from the oranges and lemons in strips with a swivel-bladed vegetable peeler. Tie the zests, cinnamon stick, cardamom, allspice, and cloves in a square of rinsed cheesecloth and place the bag in a large non-reactive saucepan. Squeeze the juices from the oranges and lemons and set aside.
Add the apple cider to the saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to a simmer, cover the pan, and cook for 20 minutes.
Add the citrus juices and rum and heat, without boiling, until the mixture is piping hot. Taste and add a little sugar if necessary. Remove the spice bag and serve the punch in glass cups or mugs. Leftovers can be reheated.
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