I'd like to be able to say that I grew the apples that made this cider.
But I can't say that because I didn't grow them.
Living in Ohio, where Johnny Appleseed started some apple tree nurseries, it is embarrassing to admit that I don't grow very good apples.
In fact, my very best apple tree, the one that makes the most apples (and the very best apples that I've ever tasted) is a wild apple tree that grows in my pasture.
I like to pretend that good old Johnny Appleseed put that apple tree there himself... but in reality it probably got its start from a bird dropping.But I digress.
Farmhouse Cider makes a tasty cocktail. Serve it warmed in a mug or chilled in a pretty glass. It's also kind of fun to sip it straight out of a jar while sitting around a campfire on a brisk autumn night.A jar of Farmhouse Cider also makes a nice gift. And it is very easy to make. Wrap cinnamon sticks (and cloves, too, if you like) in a bit of cheesecloth and simmer them in apple cider with a bit of brown sugar for a couple of hours. (It will make your house smell amazingly good!)
Let it cool a bit and then add some of this... (A high proof vodka would also work.)
I especially like to cook ham in Farmhouse Cider. I call it Farmhouse Cider Ham. And I'll write about that here one of these days. But for now I thought I'd at least share this simple recipe...
(recipe makes 9 quarts)
2 gallons apple cider (I use pasteurized)
2 cups brown sugar
4-6 sticks cinnamon
1 tablespoon whole cloves (optional)
1 750ml bottle of Everclear or high proof vodka
Pour apple cider into a very large pot. Add sugar. Wrap cinnamon (and cloves if using) in cheesecloth and add to pot. Simmer mixture, stirring occasionally, for about 2 hours. Let cool to warm. Remove cheesecloth wrapped spices. Stir in Everclear. Please be careful and note warning on bottle of Everclear to keep it away from any flame as it is highly flammable.
Note: I keep my jars warm before I pour this into them and then I place a warm simmered canning lid on them and secure the lid with a lid ring. As the jars cool the lids seal, just as they do when canning foods. But since these have not been processed in a canner they are not shelf stable as a home canned food. I keep my jars of this tucked into the back of my refrigerator and I've had them keep for a couple of months like this.