There's something about having a big bottle of fresh apple cider in your fridge all fall that feels oddly reassuring. Maybe it's the fact that a taste of the season is always just a glass away, or that it always feels like a treat because it's only during these few short months that cider makes a regular appearance in your kitchen.
But after a few glasses of sweet, pure cider, it's fun to play around a little with the bottle. You can heat it with a mix of spices for a classic mulled version, but think simpler — all you really need is just one ingredient to make your glass of cider a little more unique. Here are seven great ideas.
One-Ingredient Upgrades for Apple Cider
There are plenty of recipes out there that fancy up apple cider, but they all require a handful of ingredients. That's not really necessary — enhance your cider with just one ingredient that already happens to be a flavorful match for the drink and you don't need to fret about throwing anything else in.
1. Chai Tea Bag
Forget brewing tea bags in water. Heat a cup of cider in the microwave or on the stove and steep a chai tea bag in it for about five minutes or so, until the cider is spicy and has just a little of that bold black tea flavor.
2. Orange Slices
Muddle a few orange slices at the bottom of your glass before pouring in the cider. The citrus marries well with the apples and makes for a cider that's extra-tart and tangy.
3. Ginger Beer
Reach for a can of extra-spicy ginger beer or ale to lend a peppery pungency and effervescence to apple cider.
4. Iced Tea
Who says lemonade is the only drink that can join iced tea in a glass? Try swapping it in for apple cider for a fun twist on an Arnold Palmer.
5. Red Hots
Yes, those tiny cinnamon candies should be plopped into your glass of apple cider. Drop a small handful in and they'll impart their flavor, leaving you with something to munch on when the glass is done.
Call it a two-ingredient fall cocktail if you'd like. Add a splash of wine to your cider or a splash of cider to your wine, depending on your mood, for an easy cocktail.
7. Coconut Milk
Pour a little coconut milk into a glass of apple cider to add sweet coconut flavor and creaminess. Think of it as apple pie a la mode — in a glass.
What's your favorite way to dress up a glass of apple cider?