This fall, my husband purchased a large thermos and tried to convince me that we’d fill it with hot cider and go for long, chilly strolls in the evening. It was a romantic thought, but truth be told, I’m more of an indoors kind of gal. Plunk me in a chair in front of the fire with a scotch in hand and I’m happy as a clam. It’s going to take more than the promise of hot apple cider to get me to suit up in full winter gear to weather the cold. Now, if you were to spike that cider and add a bit of spice, I would gladly don my hat and mitts and follow you into the snowy evening any day of the week. And so, as is the case with any great marriage, we struck a compromise and our version of boozy cider was born. So, put on your scarf and boots and fill up your thermos, my friends! This one is worth braving the cold for.   

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Spicy Spiked Apple Cider

Ingredients

    2oz Mezcal
    1oz lemon juice
    1 cup sugar
    1 cup water
    5 cardamom pods
    10 black peppercorns
    2 cups cloudy apple juice
    2 cinamonn sticks
    ½ tsp chilli flakes
    1 star anise
    Apple slices for garnish

Cardamom, Black Peppercorn Syrup:

Using a mortar and pestle, crush 5 cardamom pods and 10 black peppercorns.

Combine spices with sugar and water in a saucepan over high heat.

Bring mixture to a boil, stirring continuously.

Once boiling, remove from heat and let stand until cool.

Strain syrup through a fine mesh sieve into a clean jar and store in the fridge.

Spiced Apple Juice:

In a saucepan, combine 2 cups of cloudy apple juice, 2 cinnamon sticks, 1 star anise, and ½ tsp of chilli flakes. Bring mixture to a boil and then reduce heat and let simmer for 5 minutes.

Spicy Spiked Apple Cider Cocktail:

In a mug, combine Mezcal, lemon juice and syrup. Stir and top with warm, spiced apple juice. Garnish with an apple fan.

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