Hot cocktails are my go-to for winter. And this hot apple cider cocktail is one of my favorites for heating up a cold night.Drinks with both balanced flavors and a bit of warmth are as good as the best comfort food for bringing back your glow even in the depths of the darkest months.
A cocktail recipe to transport you to New England
You may not be traveling much these days, but that shouldn’t stop you from traveling by the glass. This warm apple cider cocktail is redolent with the rich flavors of a New England winter. Tart apple cider is infused with stick cinnamon then further sweetened with real maple syrup and spiked with aged rum.
Using aged rum in cocktails
Rum is a great spirit for mixing. But while a delicate white rum is the spirit of choice for a summer drink like a Daiquiri, this hot cider cocktail calls for something more robust. It gives the cider body and stands up to the heat of the drink.
I use Diplomático Mantuano rum but you can use any aged rum you prefer. Just be careful about rums that have had a lot of exposure to oak. They can end up tasting very sweet. And too sweet of a rum will knock the final flavor of this warm cocktail completely out of balance.
Tips for making a warm apple cider cocktail
The instructions for this cocktail are basic. But I have a few tips for making the drink “my” way.
I’m not a fan of super sweet cocktails. I like to mix the base for this drink, divide it into two mugs (maybe add an extra splash of rum to each), and top them off with boiling water. It’s more like a hot toddy than hot apple cider.
If you’re only making one, put the other half in an airtight container in the refrigerator for another day (it will hold for about a 5-7 days). Warm it before adding the boiling water.
Some ideas for garnishing your Hot Apple Cider Cocktail
I garnished with a dried apple ring dipped in maple syrup then in turbinado sugar for sparkle. Or, dip the cut edge of a half lemon slice in maple syrup then in turbinado sugar before placing on the rim of the cup.
Hot Maple Apple Cider
- 6 oz fresh apple cider or substitute your favorite hard cider
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 2 oz Diplomático Mantuano rum or your favorite aged rum
- 1/2-1 tbsp real maple syrup depending on how sweet you like it
- 1 tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice
- A tiny pinch of salt
- In a small saucepan, bring the cider and cinnamon stick to a simmer for several minutes.
- Mix all the ingredients in a heat-safe cup.
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