Monday, December 08, 2008

Vitamin-infused, multi-spiced, hot apple cider toddy experiments

Bubbles in ciderImage by Gaetan Lee via FlickrGreetings from Elizabeth: I am still experimenting with this kinda scarey hot toddy spiced apple cider concoction that started as an assignment from Spirit! You can read that ongoing story here.

I heat up 2 or 3 quarts of unfiltered apple cider from fresh apples. Apple juice from concentrate will do, too. When I concocted my first batch several days ago, frozen Apple Juice was all I had on hand so that is what I used. That drink still kept a trickster virus at bay and may have been what scared it off altogether.

I stir in, as I am stirred by Spirit and Spirts... Star Anise, Whole Cloves, Whole Allspice, Ginger Slivers, Juniper Berries (a small palm full, gently cracked), Orange Peel, Ground Cinnamon, Ground Nutmeg, and Pure Almond Extract (few - several drops).

Then I just simmer, simmer, simmer.

The vitamin part of this ordinary reality alchemy is really silly. I wanted vitamins and I wanted a lemony component - a must for a 'toddy' for me - and I get both at once by pouring the hot spiced apple cider on top of a (half to a whole) packet of 'Emergen-C Pink Lemonade' fizzy vitamin supplement drink with 1000% of C and mineral complexes and B vitamins bought at the grocery store/pharmacy. The more of the packet used, the more vitamins, but also the more lemony and tart the toddy is.

I put the vitamin powder in the bottom of the large mug before pouring in the hot spiced apple cider. It fizzes and froths amusingly then calms down. Next I stir in Caramel Syrup (like the kind for serving over ice-cream) and/or Honey to taste, because for me a toddy is a comfort drink.

Sometimes I drink it without adding the sweet stuff. Of course one one can just drink the hot spicy apple cider by itself.

I understand that a hot toddy is supposed to include an alcohol spirit such as brandy, rum, or whiskey. All I have to say about that is take your pick of those, if you so desire, and continue this experiment your own way. The alcohol will cook off gradually if you mull it and you will get the full kick from it if you stir it into the mug last.

Hey, you will need a really huge mug if you want to add ALL of the above!

The last time I was wandering around the 'goumet grocery store' in my neighborhood I noticed some boxes of organic mulling spices in tea bag form by R.W. Knudsen which include several of the above ingredients - lemon peel, orange peel, cinnamon, cloves, and ginger. I have not used those bags so far, but they might make this a tidier process.

Seeing the mulling bags in the store gave me the idea of floating a Ginzing (Ginseng) tea bag (by Herbal Medicinals) and a Dandelion DeTox tea bag (by Yogi Tea) in this latest batch. Every batch has been slightly different, and better.

So this weird hot toddy experiment continues.

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