Saturday, October 29, 2011

Since we're celebrating Halloween...

My lovely friend Mary has offered to bring over some marvelous boozy-concoction to bolster our zeal as we carve pumpkins tonight. (Oh, did I forget to mention that I've invited a dozen-plus friends, mostly under the age of thirty and over the age of ten to come over and carve pumpkins tonight?) Should be a hoot. Mary apparently got this recipe from a man who goes by the name "Peanuckles" (I didn't ask) and she claims this is the perfect chilly-autumn-night-when-you're-dressed-as-the-Golden-Gate-Bridge-drink, so we're going to brew it up and take it to task.

If you'd like to partake, the recipe is as follows:

1 gallon quality apple cider (quality will really make it taste better)
1 750ml brandy, optional (I usually opt for the inexpensive, spend the money on the cider)
1 tsp ground nutmeg (less if you grate fresh)
1 tsp whole allspice
1 tsp cloves
2 cinnamon sticks (grate a bit for extra flavor)
1/2 orange, sliced into wheels

Combine cider, spices and orange. Warm over low heat in a heavy stock pot or crock pot. Allow at least 30 minutes for the spices to mull with the cider. (If adding the brandy, don’t add until 20-30 minutes before serving, and watch out for high heat, you don’t want it to cook off.) You can mull the cider for a few hours and it will just meld the flavors more. Invest in a ladle, it makes for easier serving and less mess; plus, it looks fancy.

For each serving: fill 3/4 mug with cider, pinch of ground cinnamon, nutmeg, 2 cloves, 2 allspice berries, small triangle slice. Warm in small sauce pan or microwave. Add 1.5 oz brandy (optional) at end.

Thanks to Mary & Peanuckles, who supplied us with the recipe! Bottoms Up! 

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