Spiked Apple Cider

So, many of you don’t know this about me, but I LOVE talking about outer space. I’m no scholar on the subject, but any time I start thinking about my problems….then start thinking about the vastness of our universe…suddenly my problems seem minuscule in compensation.

My father-in-law bought me a telescope a few Christmas’s ago, but living in Chicago made star gazing difficult with the light pollution, so we barely used it. Portland, however, is fantastically different. In less than an hour you can escape the Portland city lights, look up, and get lost in thought as you contemplate the ginormous blanket of stars. So, being the space lover that I am, I was GEEKED to hear about the Supermoon Lunar Eclipse! Kieran and I quickly packed up our car with the telescope and headed to the Vista House on Crown Point. The Vista House is a historical observatory that sits 733 feet over Oregon’s Columbia Gorge. Without light pollution, the Vista House was the ultimate location to peer through our telescope and observe the supermoon lunar eclipse.

What a spectacular sight to see. We trained our telescope on the moon throughout it’s rise above the horizon. It was remarkable to see our moon change colors as it passed behind Earth. We set up next to a really fun couple who enjoyed talking about space as much as Kieran and I do, which made the evening even more enjoyable. We took turns taking in the changing moon through my telescope exchanging expressions of amazement to each other. To say the experience was bad ass is an understatement. It was fucking incredible.

The couple next to us was extremely funny, Kieran and I enjoyed their company tremendously. We easily fell into conversation with them while we took turns sharing hiking stories, jokes, and peeking through the telescope. Yes of course I was giddy from all the space-talk, but I was also EXTRA giggly from sipping on Spiked Apple Cider the entire evening. I saw the weather would be cool at the Vista House so I packed accordingly…..I made sure to bring hot boozy cider!!! I mean, would you expect anything different?

Spiked Apple Cider

Now, here’s the fun part about this recipe…. you don’t have to take this route…. but Kieran and I chose to make our own apple cider from scratch! The apples cost us $17 and the process probably took 2 hours from set up, to clean up, but the TASTE was out of this world. Pun fully intended.

If you make the apple cider from scratch, you’ll need approx 15-20 lbs of apples, for 1 gallon of cider. You will not need 1 gallon of apple cider for this recipe, but trust me on this, you’ll want leftover apple cider for daily consumption.

The equipment needed: a juicer, a clean large bucket, 7 inches of acrylic tubing, and reusable nylon mesh. Note, the only reason we used the tubing was to efficiently route the apple juice from the juicer to the bucket without making a huge mess. If we didn’t attach the hose directly to the juicer, the cider would have splattered all over the place. Also note, if you can’t find reusable nylon mesh, you can get away with using cheese cloth.

In order to get a well rounded cider, use at LEAST 3 different varieties of apples. You want a combination of sweet, acidic, and tannic tasting apples. Get roughly 5 lbs of each kind.

Here are examples of the apples you want to look for..


Northern Spy

Cox’s Orange Pippin
Dolgo Crabapple

If you’re unsure which to use, ask your local produce shop market. Chances are, you won’t be able find each variety listed above, depending on which type of apples are indigenous to your area, and the shop keepers insight will come in handy. After Kieran and I looked at what our local produce market had to offer, we used the following:

Golden Supreme
Jona Gold
Granny Smiths
Honeycrisp apples

Basically we ended up with red, yellow, and green apples. Once we got home, we rinsed our apples in cold water and set up our equipment. Our set up was as follows…

Spiked Apple Cider

We set our juicer on the counter facing our sink. We then draped cheesecloth over the clean bucket, and placed the bucket in the sink. The cloth will help keep any stems or apple skins, that escape from the juicer, from getting into the cider. Since the weight of the apple cider will weigh down the cloth, we taped the ends of the cloth, to the bucket to help keep the cloth in place. Using painters tape, we tapped one end of the acrylic tubbing to the juicer, to help keep it in place, and laid the other end of the tubing on top of the cheesecloth, covering the bucket. The tubing allows the cider to be streamlined from the juicer directly into the bucket without making a huge mess.

Once our set up was complete, Kieran and I began a tag team method of cutting apples and pressing. I began by cutting the apples in quarters, because our juicer’s too small to accept whole apples. As I cut apples, Kieran took a small handful of them and feed them through the juicer. Our juicer is small, and the pulp inside the juicer filled up quickly, so we had to empty the pulp trap a few times which meant juicing the apples in smaller batches.

Once the apples are finished being juiced, detach the tubbing from the juicer and set it aside. Un-tape the cloth from the bucket. The cloth will have a LOT of foam on it. Gently squeeze the mesh to help any trapped cider get into the bucket. Foam will probably seep through, don’t be considered, you’ll have the chance to skim off the foam in a few seconds.

Once you’ve squeezed the cloth, you can toss it. Look in the bucket, you will see foam. Grab a large spoon and skim the top of the apple cider, capturing and discarding as much foam as you can. You will see a bunch of sediment at the bottom of the bucket, that’s totally natural. Once the majority of the foam has been discarded, you can pour the apple cider into whatever container you want. Kieran and I poured the cider into a new/empty water gallon. Yes, I know this all sounds like a bitch. You can totally skip making your own cider if you don’t want to go through the hassle. I will say though, for any of you who enjoy this type of homemade/DIY task, the apple cider was out of this world. And when you go through the trouble/fun of making homemade apple cider, you want to do something special with it. Like fill it with RUM!!!!

Introducing Spiked Fresh Pressed Apple Cider!!

Spiked Apple Cider

Yeah yeah, I know, spiked apple cider has been done before, it’s nothing fancy. Of course, it IS fancy is you make your OWN apple cider (hint hint). But if you have a hectic lifestyle, you can cheat and make this recipe with store bought apple cider.

Now, I warn you… once you put all the ingredients in this recipe in a pot, on the stove, and heat it up, you’re nostrils will be forever flared in a state of heavenly bliss. The SMELL of this recipe will transcend you to your happy place. You will literally have a perma-grin plastered on your face while entrancing whiffs, of apple-spice smells, float throughout your house. As you inhale the magical aroma, may even get all tingly in your nether regions. Don’t worry, if that happens I won’t judge, a good recipe like this will do that to you!

When I make a recipe that’s Shock Munch worthy, I know right away. Kieran and I will take a bite/sip, immediately lock eyes, and start swearing terms of endearment at each other. Like: “Holy fucking shit this is good” or “Oh My Fucking GOD, taste this!” or “You need to slap me in the mother fucking face because I can’t even handle this deliciousness right now”.

You get the idea.

This recipe is IDEAL for this time of year. Whether you’re sitting around a camp fire, gazing at the stars like we did, or just cozying up to a couch with a loved one on a cool fall night, this little amazballs recipe will keep you toasty warm and happy inside!

I’ve seen recipes where folks add additional sugar, but the apple cider and rum make this cocktail sweet enough. However, if you taste it, and it’s not sweet enough for your liking, add whatever you want! I also see folks add orange slices and other bells and whistles. If that’s your jam, add whatever your heart desires, but I’m a big fan of the simplicity of this cocktail.

And again, if you don’t feel like making your own cider, store bought is totally fine!!! This recipe is quick, simply, delicious, and comforting. Seriously, you need to put this in your mouth.

Spiked Apple Cider

Spiked Apple Cider

Course Beverage, Brunch, Cocktail
Cuisine American
Servings 4


  • 3 cup fresh or store bought apple cider
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 3 whole cloves
  • 2 splashes of vanilla extract
  • 4 shots of dark rum (we used Kraken)


  • Combine all the ingredients into a sauce pot and turn on your stove to medium-low heat.
  • Heat the ingredients, for 15-30 minutes so the ingredients have time to seep into each other.
  • Fish out the cloves and discard them. Pour the cider into coffee mugs and garnish with the cinnamon sticks!
  • Enjoy!


The calorie breakdown
3 cups apple cider….345
2 cinnamon sticks… 160
3 whole…. Unknown
2 splashes vanilla (approx 1 tablespoon)… 38
4 shots of rum…..420
2 servings….481.6
4 servings..240.75
*Please note, I am not a nutritionist nor am I pretending to be. I found the calories by using Google, the nutrition labels, and/or the “Lose It!” app.

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