Apple cider and apple juice are not the same thing, although they are both made with pressed apples. Juice is filtered and pasteurized, giving it a clearer texture and longer shelf life. Apple cider is definitely thicker, as it is unfiltered. Plus, sweet cider tends to be seasonal because it is not pasteurized and has a limited shelf life.
In the Fall, mulling cider adds warm spices that complement the flavors in apples beautifully. Everyone has a favorite way to mull apple cider, of course. Here’s my Mom’s recipe:
Hot Ruby Spiced Cider
From Glenna Burnham 1980
1 qt cranberry cocktail
1 qt sweet cider
4 cinnamon sticks
8 whole cloves
Juice of 2 lemons
Combine all ingredients and bring to a boil.
Lower heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
Remove spices and serve hot in mugs.
Of course, we tend to pour everything into a slow cooker and let it simmer on low all evening. Perfect for sipping while sitting outside by a bonfire or relaxing on the porch.
(Photo by Alisa Anton)