So it was really cold & rainy the other day. After raking all the leaves off our lawn (who says there are no seasons in Los Angeles?!) we wanted something warm to drink! We decided a little apple cider would hit the spot, but how to sass it up a bit?
The answer: Apple Brandy & Grand Marnier, of course!
Here is what we did:
1 gallon of unfiltered apple juice
2 cinnamon sticks
1 - 2 peeled oranges
3 star anise
1/2 tsp whole cloves
1/2 tsp whole all spice (we were out so we used a couple shakes of ground)
1/2 tsp cardamom
1 oz / serving Apple Brandy / Calvados
splash per serving Grand Marnier / orange liquer
I used my mother's slow cooker on high for this, but you can also just simmer in a pot on the stove. Either way works fine.
Pour the apple juice into the pot and toss in the orange peels
You can either float the spices loose, or put them in a big tea ball or a cloth bag to keep them from getting in the individual servings. I used a big tea ball. Break the cinnamon sticks in half so they fit.
Simmer everything together for about 15+ minutes so the flavors come out.
Put a splash of Grand Marnier in the bottom of each mug (I do mean a splash. I bought the little sample bottle and didn't even use half of it for 5 servings)
Pour in 1 shot of Apple Brandy / Calvados in each mug.
Ladle in your cider and serve with a cinnamon stick (for stirring)
Enjoy by the fire!