When entertaining during the holidays, nothing beats a warm cup of apple cider spiced with cinnamon sticks and fresh orange slices. I grew up with this combination at almost every winter celebration. My mom would mixed these three items together and warm it up in her slow cooker. It was easy and always a hit with guests. It meant having a piping hot cup of deliciously spiced apple cider all day. (As long as it lasted anyway.) And while I think these three items make a killer flavor combination, sometimes it is nice to shake things up a bit. I certainly did that when I tried this Spiced Cherry Apple Cider this week.
Also prepared in a slow cooker, this cider uses traditional apple cider and cinnamon sticks, but throws a unique ingredient in: cherry gelatin. Normally I’d like to keep things natural, but cherry juice just isn’t easy to come by and probably wouldn’t give this some rush of flavor and pretty red color. Originally this recipe calls for a 6 oz box (or two 3 oz) of cherry gelatin per gallon of apple cider. In my opinion this is way too sweet and the cherry overpowers the apple. I highly recommend cutting that amount in half as I have done for this recipe. However, a strong cherry flavor is what you are looking for, definitely try a 6oz box of gelatin!
- 1 gallon apple cider or apple juice
- 2 to 3 cinnamon sticks
- 1 3 oz box of cherry gelatin
- apple slices and/or maraschino cherries (optional)
- Add cider and cinnamon sticks to slow cooker. Cook on high 3 hours.
- Add cherry gelatin.
- Continue to cook on high another hour.
- Remove cinnamon sticks.
- Serve warm with apple slices and cherries for garnish if desired.
I garnished my cider with apple slices and maraschino cherries. Both are totally optional, but I think a cherry at the bottom really adds something special if you are serving your cider with clear glasses.