Alex Guarnaschelli's Mulled Apple Cider

Your slow cooker doesn't have to be hidden away in your kitchen anymore. Alex Guarnaschelli says you can make it the centerpiece of your bar, which comes in handy when you're whipping up this mulled apple cider. Here's a great holiday hack: Set up a DIY station so it's hassle-free and your guests can make their own drinks to their liking while you finish preparing the holiday meal.

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2 quarts apple cider
10 whole cloves
6 large cinnamon sticks
1 large knob fresh ginger, cut into ½ inch slices
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
zest and juice from 1 small lemon
2 firm red apples, such as Macoun, Braeburn or Rome varieties, cored and diced
bourbon, optional

1. Heat the cider on the stove until hot but not boiling. Combine the cloves, cinnamon sticks and ginger in cheesecloth and tie it closed so the spices don’t escape. Add the spices to the cider along with the nutmeg and dark brown sugar. Stir and bring to a gentle simmer over low heat. Simmer 10-15 minutes. Add the lemon zest/juice and diced apple.

 

2. For the kids, 7-8 ounces in a warm mug is ideal. Keep warm in your allow cooker all day and night! If adding Bourbon for the adults, stir about 11/2 ounces Bourbon into a single 7-ounce serving of warm cider.

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