My good friend Jesy introduced me to Spiked Cider, a warm cozy drink that adults get to enjoy at holiday gatherings.
She makes a big pot of it on Halloween, and we fill our mugs and trail behind the kids as they trek through the neighborhood trick-or-treating. She also brings a big pot of it over to my place on Thanksgiving, and we sip it while putting the finishing touches on dinner, and after everyone has eaten we curl up by the fire pit, cuddling another warm mug while enjoying a slice of pie.
This year I asked Jesy for her recipe and took a little time to hack it, reducing some of the sugars, while retaining the nostalgic, cozy flavor that we love.
The version below uses coconut sugar, rather than refined sugar. It also calls for vodka, rather than rum. Both of these swaps reduce the overall sugar impact of the sweet drink, so that you can enjoy a cup of cheer while staying on track with your fitness and health goals.
I hope that this Spiked Holiday Cider becomes a tradition that you share with your close friends too.
4 cups water
3 orange spiced tea bags
½ cup coconut sugar
1½ cups grain-free vodka
2 cups Apple Cider or Unfiltered Apple Juice
8 Cinnamon Sticks
In a large pot, bring the water to a low boil
Remove from heat, and add the tea bags. Allow the bags to seep for 5 minutes.
Stir in the sugar, vodka, apple cider and 2 of the cinnamon sticks. Return to low heat, bring the cider to steaming - but don't boil.
Place 1/2 teaspoon of coconut and 1 cinnamon stick in each mug before filling with cider. Serve warm and enjoy!
Save leftovers in the fridge and reheat to enjoy the next day. Or serve it chilled over ice!