Make Ahead

Naturally Sweet Apple CiderĀ Drinks

February  3, 2022
0 Ratings
  • Prep time 5 minutes
  • Cook time 30 minutes
  • makes 7 cups
Author Notes

Avoiding any form of sweetener? Sweet magic happens when time and unsweetened apple butter combine with a few other ingredients to produce delicious hot apple cider and a cold, foamy, apple cider drink. Although the amount of each spice may seem uncommonly skimpy, the spices' flavor and the apples' natural sweetness increase with time. Therefore, this recipe should be prepared the day before serving and refrigerated overnight. Finally, blending the cold cider in a food processor or (preferably) a blender will produce a frothy, silky, and indulgent drink. Enjoy!
Footnote: Make sure the unsweetened apple butter is made from only apples and unsweetened apple juice or cider concentrate. If your grocery store doesn't carry unsweetened apple butter, it can be found on the internet and in many health food stores.)

Amy Belkin

What You'll Need
  • 8 cups fresh, plain, unfiltered apple cider
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 small pinches ground ginger
  • 1 mini pinches ground cloves
  • 1/3 cup plain, unsweetened apple butter
  1. Pour the apple cider into a large pot and begin heating over medium heat.
  2. While the cider is heating, add the lemon juice, cinnamon nutmeg, ginger, and cloves (but not the apple butter) and stir occasionally. The spices will float on the surface but will blend once the apple butter is added.
  3. When the cider reaches an active simmer, reduce to a low simmer and continue cooking for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Remove the pot from the heat, stir in the apple butter, and cool to room temperature.
  5. Gently pour the cider into jars (a funnel helps here), stopping near the end to discard any undissolved spices, and refrigerate overnight. Note: If you take a sip when it's first made, the cider may not taste sweet enough and the flavor may even seem "off." Have faith and wait until tomorrow. Just remember to always shake the jar (to incorporate the apple butter) prior to serving cold or heating.
  6. To make a cold, frothy, apple cider drink for 2: The next day, shake the apple cider and pour 2 cups into a blender (preferably) or a food processor.
  7. Turn the blender to high and process for 1 minute or more. The apple cider will quickly become milky white and a foamy head will form.
  8. Pour a cup of the cold cider into each of two preferably clear glasses and watch the milky white cider turn into layers of brown while the foamy white top remains.

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