Combine all ingredients into a warm glass mug and lightly stir to combine. Garnish with an orange twist and freshly grated chocolate, if you like.
For the homemade cider:
In a large pot, combine the apples, cinnamon sticks, star anise, cloves, allspice, nutmeg (I grated some nutmeg into the pot before dropping in the whole nutmeg), and brown sugar.
For the orange, pare 4 to 5 orange peels and add them to the pot, then squeeze the juice from the orange into the pot; drop the orange half in as well.
Cover the mixture with 8 cups of water, and bring it to a simmer. Once the cider is brought to a simmer, reduce to medium heat and let it lightly simmer for 2 hours. Then, mash the apples with a masher and allow the cider to lightly simmer for 1 more hour.
Strain the cider through a fine mesh strainer or cheese cloth to remove the solids, and then it’s ready to serve. (To store: Allow the cider to cool before putting it in the refrigerator. This cider stays good for up to 2 weeks).
Elliott Clark, also known as the Apartment Bartender, is a well-respected tastemaker, cocktail creator, spirits writer, and photographer in the spirits industry. What started out as a hobby for making cocktails at home has developed into a full-blown career that takes Elliott all over the world mixing drinks for some of the world’s most notable brands, and making the world of spirits more accessible to the at-home cocktail enthusiast.