Hot Caramel Apple Cider
- ½ gallon apple cider (64 ounces or 8 cups)
- ½ cup orange juice, fresh-squeezed or good quality
- 1 orange
- 8 cloves
- 2 cinnamon sticks (fresh ones)
- ¼ teaspoon ground allspice
- ⅓ cup caramel sauce (or more to your own taste)
- Optional: caramel-flavored syrup and sweetened whipped cream (or substitute maple syrup for caramel)
Pour 8 cups of apple cider into a large stock pot on the stove pot. Set heat to medium-high. Add orange juice, cinnamon sticks and allspice. Thoroughly wash your orange and then gently stab the whole cloves into it. If you find it hard to do that without destroying the cloves, use a toothpick to poke a little hole first, then insert the cloves. (If you are doubling the recipe, you can still just use one orange. Just double the number of cloves you poke into it.)
Gently drop the whole orange into the pot. Bring cider to a boil, then reduce heat to a low simmer. Simmer on low for 60 minutes or longer if you wish. If you’re keeping the pot on the stove for an extended period, keep an eye on the orange. If at any time it splits open, remove it from the pot. If the white pith is exposed it will add a bitter taste to your cider. If you’re going to have the pot warming for hours on end, take out the orange. After you’ve simmered for an hour, add caramel sauce and stir to combine and dissolve. Add more caramel to taste if needed.
When ready to serve, ladle into mugs, top with whipped cream, and give it a drizzle of caramel and a sprinkle of cinnamon.