Winter cider cravings!

I was in New York City this past weekend and only barely surviving the harshly lower temperatures than Atlanta’s (so far) moderately warm fall. My source of comfort while gallivanting the wind whipped streets of the city””a nice warm cider. So, now I’m back in Atlanta and longing for the feel of winter and the delicious beverages that go along with it. For any of you that are feeling the same way, I’m obliged to share some of my favorite recipes. Some to be enjoyed on the trek to work, some better enjoyed in the evening, at a holiday party or while curled up by a toasty fire.

Caramel Apple Spice:

My inspiration: Starbucks of course. But, it can easily be made at home, too. All you need: Apple juice, Cinnamon Dolce Syrup (from Starbucks), caramel sauce, and optional whipped cream. For a single cup add apple juice (12oz or so) and 3 pumps of Cinnamon Dolce (you can always add more.) Then, heat it up in the microwave (or put it over the stove if you’re making more than one serving.) And last, add the whipped cream and top it off with caramel sauce!


A fabulous traditional beverage. All you need: 1 gallon apple jouice or apple cider, 1 quart orange juice, 1 quart pineapple juice, 1 cup lemon juice, 1 cup sugar, 24 whole cloves and 4 cinnamon sticks. Mix all together  in a crockpot for 2-3 hours. Before serving, remove the cloves and cinnamon sticks with a strainer and voila!

Ginger and Apple Bourbon:

All to my mothers shame, I am not a bourbon lover (apparently this is a mark of un-Southernness, which is not the case for me!) Regardless, for bourbon lovers and cider lovers alike, this is a great winter treat (don’t take this on your way to work though!) All you need: Fresh cider, super-gingery ginger ale (Bundaberg is recommended if you can find it), and Kentucky bourbon in a 2:2:1 ratio.

Spiked Apple Cider cocktail:

A festive twist on traditional cider. All you need: 1/4 gallon apple cider, 1/2 cup dark rum, 1/2 cup cinnamon schnapps, 1 Granny Smith apple (peeled and cut into large chunks), 1/2 lemon (juiced).  Mix the cider, rum, and schnapps together in a large pitcher. Toss apples in lemon juice and then thread them onto skewers. Pour the spiked cider into glasses filled with ice, then garnish with an apple skewer and serve!

Winter White Sangria:

A little off the beating track, but I had to share this with you along with the ciders. Such a fun winter holiday drink, and perfect for an alternate to a warm cider at a holiday get-together. All you need: 1 bottle dry white wine, 1/4 cup of brandy, 1/4 cup of white sugar, ice, 4 slices of lime, 4 slices of lemon, 4 slices  of green apples, 1 bunch of green grapes and one cup of club soda.  Combine white wine, brandy, and sugar in a large pitcher, then stir in ice. Continue stirring until the sugar is dissolved, then add the lime, lemon, apples, and grapes. Stir in the club soda and enjoy!

Do you love cider? Share your favorite recipe below or local hotspot to grab a cup.