Hot Vanilla Cider

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In the world of beverages, this hot vanilla cider is as versatile as a little black dress. Serve it at a child’s holiday party or a wintry baby shower and you have yourself a guaranteed hit. Fill up a thermos and instantly enhance your Christmas tree purchasing experience. Add whipped cream on top and you’ll make an incredible liquid dessert. Spike your vanilla cider with bourbon and suddenly your little black dress turns frisky!

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The problem with the frisky/boozy side of this drink is that it goes down too easy. I’m just gonna put that out there for your interpretation. I stopped at 1.5 drinks because I totally know my limits; I’m like a grownup or something.

And we’re off!

Unfiltered apple juice, bourbon whiskey, brown sugar, nutmeg & a vanilla pod.

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Scrape the vanilla.

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Now place everything, including that vanilla bean into a saucepan. Simmer down now!

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Your hot beverage gets strained.  Smell the vapors. Delicious!

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Nutmeg and vanilla (only a little) gets collected through the mesh.

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And here’s where I take the frisky route….

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These mugs have no idea what’s in store for them…

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Hot Vanilla Cider! Such a glorious sight. Pretty apple gradient in a cup.

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There’s little bits of vanilla floating around in those mugs. Delightful, right?

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If you’re a fan of nutmeg, grate a little extra on top.

hot vanilla cider

I think this might be my OFFICIAL drink of the holiday season. Make it yours!

Hot Vanilla Cider

makes 6

(adapted slightly from Martha Stewart Living)

  • 6 cups unfiltered apple juice (or cider)
  • 2 tablespoons packed dark-brown sugar
  • 2 whole nutmeg seeds
  • 1 vanilla bean (split and scraped)
  • 6 ounces (3/4 cup) bourbon, if desired

Combine apple cider, dark-brown sugar, nutmeg seeds, and vanilla bean in a medium saucepan. Gently simmer over medium-low heat for 15 minutes. Remove from heat, and add bourbon if desired. Remove and discard solids. Divide among 6 mugs or heatproof glasses.

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52 Comments

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  • November 17, 2011

    Oh hello! Where has this drink been all my life?!

  • November 17, 2011

    I’ll take one!

    Or two. I could use it….now!

  • November 17, 2011

    Love this! I’m such a fan of hot apple cider and love this concoction. Yum!

  • November 17, 2011

    Mm, I’ve been itching to drink some cider this fall. This sounds so good. Love your glasses, too! Any chance you remember where you got them?

    • November 17, 2011

      I think cost plus world market. If they don’t have the exact ones, I’m sure they have something close!

  • November 17, 2011

    Wow, I was just thinking about cider today! You read my mind. Can’t wait to try this!

  • Jess
    November 17, 2011

    [A long time lurker by new commenter]: Love any hot drink that involves bourbon/whiskey! A quick question though — I’m out of vanilla beans right now. Can I substitute vanilla extract? If so, how much would you suggest?

    • November 17, 2011

      Sure! How about adding two teaspoons of vanilla extract?

  • November 17, 2011

    I’ve been addicted to cider-steeped tea this year…so, I just have to try this cider-style too. Good call on the booze, booze makes it better!

    • November 17, 2011

      Cider steeped tea! I like the sound of that.

  • November 17, 2011

    OH my. So delicious!!

  • Patty
    November 17, 2011

    I see a thermos of this in my very near future! Further concert tomorrow and a thermos of this during the pre-party tailgate! A perfect way to begin a Friday night in Chicago!

    • November 17, 2011

      That sounds like a winning combo! Now what are you gonna eat???

  • November 17, 2011

    I could see myself getting a little merry on this lovely sounding beverage!

  • November 17, 2011

    First a trombone reference and now my second favorite thing in the whole wide world….hot apple cider toddy! Too much…and I happen to have all the ingredients on hand. Will certainly be serving your version at my bourbon tasting party! :) http://notquitegourmet.com/2011/10/23/cup-of-comfort/

    • November 17, 2011

      Bourbon tasting party??!!? That sounds divine!

  • Karen
    November 17, 2011

    OK, this is totally what I’ll be drinking in January here in Minnesota. Thanks for making my upcoming winter here a lot more tolerable!

  • November 17, 2011

    I need this in my life!

  • November 17, 2011

    YES! I’ll take it!! :)

  • November 17, 2011

    whoa. this is legit. thanks xo
    happy holidays!

  • November 17, 2011

    This looks so warm and comforting. I could see sipping this in front of a warm fire.

    You are an amazing photographer. I just love your photos!

    • November 17, 2011

      Ahhh a nice fire… I wish we could use our fireplace…. And thank you!

  • November 17, 2011

    YUMMY!!! We will have to try this while Christmas tree decorating… or just while watching a movie. Ha…like i have time for a movie with a newborn and two year old…but I can pretend.

    • November 17, 2011

      Oh dear! If you don’t make time for a movie, do make time for cider!

  • November 17, 2011

    this looks so totally fall and pj’s and sitting in front of the fire getting drunk alone. Err I mean with friends. lol

    • November 17, 2011

      Hahaha! Either way sounds pretty awesome to me.

  • November 17, 2011

    I’m totally going to do this with rum

  • November 17, 2011

    Oh my, that looks absolutely amazing! I have to try it!

  • November 17, 2011

    ohhh man this sounds so good! my mug is totally ready for this!

  • November 17, 2011

    Heh. I love Boozy Thursday (as I already tweeted). And I just needed to pop over and say your posts make me giggle. Simmer down now. Exactly. I was also confused as to the two events you were suggesting bringing this cider (child’s school function, baby shower), and thought it was rather ironic. Then I realized you were just talking about the cider. Not necessarily the frisky version. Whoops!

    • November 17, 2011

      Haha! Little black dress! Versatile!

  • November 17, 2011

    Hello, lover. Where have you been all my life?

    Fav line: cause I’m like a grown up or something.
    I know, doesn’t that suck sometimes?

    • November 17, 2011

      Totally. I just wanna be a kid again but have my 32 year old brain!

  • November 17, 2011

    Oh, Lord – I need this drink in my life.
    Amen.

    xo
    cortnie

  • November 17, 2011

    the frisky route = awesome! maybe i’ll add this to the already long list of things we’ll be drinking over thanksgiving week with all of our pals!

    hmm… it’s probably hard to drink when playing rock band, though… i need something to toss back quickly in between songs! ha haha

    • November 17, 2011

      The heat of this Bevie will totes aid your vocal chords. No doubt!

  • A wee bit better
    November 17, 2011

    You should add the bourbon to the mixture before you strain it. Most of what makes vanilla vanilla y are oil based flavors. The bourbon will disolve these and other oil based flavors from the nutmeg and incorporate them into the drink better than applejuice alone. =D

    • November 17, 2011

      Thanks. That sounds a wee bit better!

  • November 17, 2011

    Girl, you had me at Knob Creek ;-)

  • November 18, 2011

    Great recipe ! I made it! It`s delicious!!! And it looks great , too!

  • November 18, 2011

    Ummm, wow. I think I’m going to spend my weekends from now until New Year’s slightly tipsy on warm boozy drinks. . . . Thank you!

  • November 18, 2011

    Oh my, this looks like a dream come true. X

  • November 19, 2011

    I LOVE mulling hard cider, but hadn’t thought to add vanilla. Yum! Will have to try this!

  • November 20, 2011

    DEEELISHUS!!!
    and i would like the frisky tasty side of this, please.

  • November 23, 2011

    Making this in 3…2…1… off to the liquor store.

  • November 29, 2011

    dang girl.

    this is trouble.

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