I am in love with the ridiculously gingery apple cider at Outerlands in San Francisco. But I don’t live in San Francisco anymore. I live 2,900 miles away. Womp womp.
Luckily, cider’s super easy to make! So here’s what I do when I’m craving it. Quick and therapeutic—and so delicious on a cold day. Happy holidays.
Ginger Lemon Apple Cider
- jug of fresh apple cider (not from concentrate!)
- fresh ginger
- dried clove buds
- a cinnamon stick
- a lemon
- star anise or allspice (optional)
Warm a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the cloves and the cinnamon stick. If you like star anise or allspice, you could add a couple of pieces of those too. Warm the spices for a minute and then add the apple cider.
Scrub the lemon with soap and rinse it well. Cut the pithy ends off of it. Slice it into quarters. Score the inside of the lemon with a knife and squeeze each slice gently into the cider. You don’t need to juice it completely; just coax some of the juice out for now. Drop in the lemon slices and go to work on the ginger while everything warms up.
Using the edge of a spoon, peel the ginger. If you want your cider super gingery, peel two fingers of it. One is probably enough for most people, but I like mine spicy. When the ginger’s clean, grate it into a small bowl. Squeeze any extra juice out into the bowl and include the pulp. (You could also blend it, but then you’d have to clean the blender.)
Add all the ginger bits to the cider and bring it up to a simmer.
Stir the cider and turn it down low. Taste it carefully to check the temperature and flavor. It can sit there for a while if you’re baking or waiting for friends. When you’re ready to serve it, ladle the cider through a small strainer into mugs. Let cool and enjoy.