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Delicious Holiday Cider-Spiked or Not

CB’s Delicious Holiday Cider

Spiked or Not…

The previous blog entry, 10 Ways to Enhance Your Life, focused on eating to live not living to eat. One of my greatest challenges during this time of year. There’s food everywhere you turn. I’ve been attending a few in-person events for the SAG nominating committee lately. Mostly screenings with Q and A’s with the casts and receptions afterwards. As I don’t feel like removing my mask to eat, I do a grab and go and then stuff my face on the ride home. I’ve actually had the nerve to contemplate taking a couple of sandwich bags and some aluminum foil with me. Totally ghetto. Don’t care. 

Holiday cider is the perfect drink. For the vegans, there’s no added sugar and pure pressed apple cider is used. Available during this time of the year at most grocery stores. For parties, I’ll leave the alcohol out. Not spiked. Still delicious. A small Thanksgiving gathering saw the Apple Pie Moonshine as the spike, or, The Hootch. Hootch, Anyone? For Adults only Making sure no one had to drive, it was the absolute hit. The Hootch has had over 6 months to age and the alcohol taste has disappeared, making the effect other worldly. A high recommendation, although, as stated, without alcohol is my preference. That way its good, hot or cold.

I made 2 batches for the video below. I put the hootch in one and not the other. The non-alcohol version is already gone. 24 hours later. The alcohol version I’ll have to save for work. (wink). The blends of apple cider, pineapple and orange juice and the aromatics fill any space with the greatest aromatherapy you can’t help but feel good about the season. Southern California rarely sees frosty temperatures, but, when it dips below 60 degrees, blankets, jackets and the smell of fireplaces are roaring all over the neighborhood. It feels like somewhere in the East. You should see the furs at some of these events I’ve been to. Can’t blame them, it’s 72 degrees outside.

CB's Delicious Spiked Cider
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CB’s Delicious Holiday Cider, Spiked or Not

CB's Delicious Holiday Cider, Spiked or Not

Pure delicious fall coziness in a glass. The perfect drink for holiday parties and warm cozy nights.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Course Drinks
Servings 6 servings


  • stock pot or large saucepan
  • Fine mesh strainer
  • vegetable peeler
  • hand juicer or the like
  • serving glasses or mugs
  • wooden spoon
  • ladle


  • 8 cups pure pressed apple cider 1.9ml
  • 1 orange peel and juice
  • 1 cup pineapple juice
  • 1 apple optional
  • 3 cinnamon sticks 4-inch
  • 8 whole cloves or 1 teaspoon ground
  • 3-inch piece of ginger peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 3 whole allspice or 1 teaspoon ground
  • 1 whole nutmeg cracked in half or1 teaspoon, ground nutmeg
  • 1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup alcohol of choice (optional) rum, bourbon, vodka


  • Combine all ingredients in a saucepan or stockpot and simmer over low heat for 5 to 10 minutes. Strain through a fine mesh strainer. Add vanilla and alcohol (optional). Ladle or pour into mugs and serve. Or add alcohol as a shot to individual servings.


The 5 by 5 rule: “If it’s not gonna matter in 5 years, don’t spend more than 5 minutes being upset about it.” I saw Cher say that on The Graham Norton show on BBC years ago. She said it was the wisest thing her mother ever told her. I’ve never forgotten that. So true. All the noise that pervades the world we occupy tends to breed a sense of toxic individualism. It’s difficult to project a sense of optimism when negatives are the rule of many of our days. “This too shall pass”. My mother’s favorite quote. Also, “This is only for a season.” Another favorite. I write these on post-its and put them on my bathroom mirror. They’re carrying me through this season and beyond. They give me hope, which springs eternal. A mug of warm cider enhances as well. I hope you try it and enjoy.

Did your Mother have a favorite quote?





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Recipe Rating

  1. Kimm Baersch says:

    Did my mother have a favorite quote? Many, but without a lot of hootch, I don’t think I will be posting them here! Yummy recipe Chris. I remember when I lived in Telluride there was an apres ski beverage that was hot apple cider and for the “hootch” ingredient it was something called Tuaca. It was very good. I think they called it hot apple pie and put a cinnamon stick in it if you were at the classy joint. Of course when you are freezing and can’t feel your hands or feet, anything that’s warm will just about do the trick. Hope your Holidays are Jolly. ho ho ho!

  2. TMAC says:

    5 stars
    Thanks Birt! Great cider man!

  3. Brian Ann says:

    oooo that looks good. Thank you for posting that.

  4. Miche says:

    I grew up in Amish apple country, so cider was huge! One of my mom’s favorite quotes was, “Rise & Shine, it’s a new day.” One horrible sleety Pennsylvania school morning I started counting how many mornings that woman screamed that up the stairs, until the smell of Sassafras tea wafted in and made me lose count. There is nothing more healing than a hot beverage on a cold morning. Thank you again. Chris. I will be making this!

  5. Helen Muci says:

    5 stars
    Hi Chris,
    The recipe sounds great. If I were making it, I’d leave out the booze! My Mother had several favorite quotes —all in German! Have a Blessed Christmas! H. M.

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