Good afternoon, savvy savers! There are so many things that I love about this time of year. From the falling leaves to the holidays and festivals, life is good in the Fall. One of my more favorite things this time of year? Apple Week! Yes, the beloved, lovable, versatile, affordable, delicious apple has it’s own week, when this quintessential Autumnal fruit not only drops in price, but many of it’s harder to find varieties have begun hitting the store shelves over the past month, such as my favorite variety, the Pink Lady Apple. So this week in celebration of National Apple Week, I wanted to share my favorite cool weather drink recipe, Crockpot Apple Cider.
What I love about this recipe is that it’s super easy to make, stores well, reheats like a dream, and encompasses my two favorite drinks, cider, and Chai tea. The best part? It can be prepped in under five minutes! So, here’s how I make my Crockpot Apple Chai Cider:
- 64 ounces of premium, organic apple cider
- 3 cut apple slices; seeds and core removed
- 3 oranges sliced; seeds removed (optional)
- 1 bag fresh (or frozen) cranberries (optional)
- 3 cinnamon sticks
- 3 pieces of star anise
- 1/3 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/3 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/3 tsp of nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon Chai tea
- 1 teaspoon whole cloves
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 6 inch square of cheesecloth
- unbleached bakers twine
- One hour before cooking, turn your Crockpot to the warm setting.
- Meanwhile, place all your loose spices and tea into your cheesecloth square to make a spice sachet. Bind with bakers twine and set aside.
- When ready to make your cider, turn your Crockpot to the Low setting.
- Pour 64 ounces of premium, organic apple cider into your Crockpot.
- Add brown sugar. Stir until dissolved.
- Add your cheesecloth sachet, star anise, and cinnamon sticks to Crockpot. Sachet should be placed below fruit in Crockpot.
- Cook on high for 1-2 hours, depending on unit, until steaming hot, but not boiling.
- Before serving, remove cinnamon sticks and star anise from Crockpot.
- Serve warm.
- There are several variations I like to use to serve this cider. For dinner parties, I core out apples to create apple cups, which are used as compost-ready cups for cider. For everyday drinks, cider is served in mugs. Regardless of your preferred serving cup, top your cider with a cinnamon stick and star of anise. Cider can be stored in mason jars for up to a month in the fridge. Enjoy!
This drink is always a favorite for family get-togethers, and even for fun, family movie night deep in the Fall. While for everyday use this awesome cider gets placed in a mug. Now for the holidays, as mentioned above, I love to use cored-out apple cups. Cups which are beautiful, functional, and once used can either be composed or used to make dehydrated pet treats.
Also, while in the spirit of both Apple Week and living a zero waste lifestyle, I will be using my spice sachet and cooked fruit slices for another Apple-inspired recipe on the blog this Saturday as well. So be sure to stay tuned for this forthcoming recipe as well!
So, savvy savers, tell me.. do you have any tips, tricks, hacks, or suggestions for homemade apple cider drinks, I’d love to hear about it below!
Here’s to Fall,