One of the best ways we’ve found to instantly create a warm, welcoming ambiance in our homes is to delight the senses of our guests. Things like filling the air with seasonal aromatics that evoke happy holiday memories. Warm mugs to thaw chilly hands. Colorful garnishes of red and orange that cheer up a room. In the spirit of that high-impact #HostfulHack, we’re sharing one of our favorite recipes to serve holiday drinks for a crowd and delight the senses: Warm Apple Cider.
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How to serve
When serving a crowd, versatility and scale are key. We like to create one large batch of a signature drink to keep us from hosting bar all night and we like to offer a non-alcoholic option with alcohol on the side to appeal to a wide variety of guests.
Garnishes are a great way to tie in the theme of your event or give a nod to the season at hand. We suggest selecting drink garnishes that give a hint to the ingredients and flavors in your warm apple cider (or any large-batch drink for a crowd). With this cider recipe, we offer full cinnamon sticks, slices of orange, and cranberries at our drink station.
Hostful Hack No. 99: Design drink displays. Use serving trays, cutting boards, and/or dessert stands to display wine, champagne, spirits, cocktail mixers, and/or refreshments.Simplify hosting with our Hostful Hack Handbook
How to make
The beauty of this recipe is that it’s perfect for a crowd in every way because we can:
- Make it ahead (we suggest 3 hours)
- Mix the ingredients once and then walk away
- Set up this non-alcoholic drink to be self-serve and offer alcohol on the side
What you’ll need
For this recipe you’ll need a large pot to combine all of the ingredients, simmer on low for hours, and serve. We always reach for our Caraway Home cookware because their pieces perform well and look just as good! The ceramic, toxin-free material is the primary reason we brought Caraway into our homes a while ago, but we’ve really come to also appreciate it for its easy cleanup and beautiful design.
You’ll also want to set out elegant mugs to fill with your cider. We like these Fluted Stoneware Mugs. Nearby, we keep a tray or board filled with garnishes in attractive containers.
Warm Apple Cider
Warm Apple Cider
- 192 fl oz Organic Apple Juice ((24 cups))
- 1 cup Organic Brown Sugar
- 2 tsp Allspice Berries
- 4 tbsp Whole Cloves
- 16 Whole Cinnamon Sticks
- 1 Sliced Orange
- Sliced Oranges
- Whole Cinnamon Sticks
- Fresh Cranberries
- Combine the juice, sugar, allspice berries, whole cloves, whole cinnamon sticks, and sliced orange into a 6.5 qt dutch oven.
- Cook the cider mixture uncovered on low for 3 hours.
- Adjust cooking heat to warm. Remove whole spices and orange slices before serving in a mug.
- Garnish with fresh orange slices, fresh cranberries, and/or whole cinnamon sticks.
Do you love cider recipes or prefer something colder? Be sure to check out our Apple Cider Sangria recipe for another fun twist on this classic drink.
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