Hot cider is an unbeatable winter classic for a reason: It's wonderfully sweet and tart at the same time. It's easy enough to make by shuttling a favorite old mug to the microwave, but if you stew it in a big pot on the stove with cinnamon and make sure guests know they can refill their mug anytime, the entire house feels warm and celebratory. From football games to the ski slopes, it's the perfect wintry take-along for a shot of warmth and sugar — and booze, if that's your thing. Here's a way to make it without having to break out all the spices.
The Fast & Fancy Way to Make Spiced Cider
In lieu of the traditional cinnamon stick, try this spunky version, where the cider is infused with the bite of ginger tea. It's a bit more exciting than plain cider, but won't leave you bleary-eyed like your rummy college-era mulled cider — and it's as easy as unwrapping a tea bag and letting it steep in the cider for a few minutes. If you'd like, add a thinly sliced coin of peeled ginger and a paper-thin slice of orange (with the peel) to each mug before you add the cider.
Want More Cider Ideas?
Gingered Hot Cider
6 cups (48 ounces) apple cider or unfiltered apple juice
4 unsweetened ginger tea bags
Bring the cider to a bare simmer in a large saucepan over high heat. Remove from the heat immediately. (If it's fresh cider and it boils, it may separate.) Add the tea bags, cover, and let steep for 10 minutes. Squeeze the tea bags into the pot before removing. Stir the cider and serve hot.