Leaves are turning yellow and the time for good fall cocktails is just around the corner! Whether you are running a bar or a restaurant, now it’s the time to iron out the last details regarding your fall seasonal menu and organize your beverage inventory.
If you are wondering what besides Pumpkin Spice Lattes and Irish Coffee to add to your offers, you will want to read this. In this article, we want to take a closer look at spiked cider drinks, how they are made, what makes them so great, and how you can serve and garnish them.
What Is Spiked Cider?
Spiked cider, or spiked apple cider, is a mix of spices like ginger, cloves, and cinnamon, combined with either rum or bourbon and apple cider. It’s a drink that’s easy to make and offers a nice warm and cozy feeling that everyone needs in the colder months.
Key Takeaway: Spiked cider is a unique and flavorful drink that would be a great addition to your fall and winter bar or restaurant menu. Whether you serve it hot or cold, people will enjoy the refreshing apple flavor and sweet aromas that create a cozier atmosphere. There are craft cider options you can serve, too.
How to Make Spiked Cider?
If you want to make a hot spiked cider, you will need the ingredients mentioned above and follow a few simple steps:
- Spices have to be toasted for a few minutes on the stovetop. This is done so they release their fragrances.
- Add the apple cider to the mix and stir it well until it gets warm. You can even use special kitchen appliances like Instant Pot or a slow cooker to do it.
- While it’s cooking, some small particles will rise to the top of the cider, which you should filter out. Use a fine mesh strainer to strain the beverage and put it into another pot.
- Finally, it’s time to spike it! At this point, the cider is a non-alcoholic beverage, but after you add rum or bourbon to the mix, it will become a delicious, warming fall cocktail. Add about 2 ounces of the type of alcohol you chose to one cup serving.
What’s the Best Alcohol to Use for Spiked Cider?
Both rum and bourbon are excellent choices when you are making spiked cider. Any type of rum goes great with the rest of the ingredients - aged rum, white rum, or dark rum. The aged and dark rum will add a bit more complexity to the flavor than white rum would. Aged and dark rum bring great oak and vanilla notes.
Any type of bourbon works great, too. Rum melds perfectly into the cider, which is why most people prefer it. However, bourbon is a close second and if you already have stocked a lot of bottles from it in your beverage inventory, it would make sense to use it.
According to some people in the industry, you can also use whiskey or brandy to spice up the cider. To make things even more flavorful and tasty, you can add flavored liqueurs. They could be:
- Calvados - a France apple brandy
- Tuaca - Italian brandy with citrus flavors, vanilla, and spices
- Cointreau - French liqueur with bitter and sweet orange peels
- Amaretto - Italian spirit with caramel and almond flavors
The History of Cider
The production of cider dates back to ancient times. It’s believed that one of the first alcoholic drinks for humans to ever consume was fermented fruit juice. Apple cider was probably among the first fermented beverages people created.
In Europe, cider production became popular in the Middle Ages. Orchards and monasteries played a big role in the cultivation of apple trees, producing juice and fermenting it to make cider.
Later on, cider-making was brought to North America by the European settlers. English people were the ones who planted the most apple trees throughout the American colonies. The trees thrived the most in New England, which is why there cider is a very popular drink.
From Cider to Spiked Cider
In the 18th and 19th centuries, spiked cider (also known as spiked cider) was a staple in American households. It was often considered to be safer to drink than water, as the fermentation process killed harmful bacteria. Apple orchards were abundant at the time, too.
Later, during the Prohibition period (1920-1933), the production and sales of spiked cider, as well as other alcoholic beverages (like popular cocktails) were banned in the United States. Many apple trees were destroyed in North America during that time.
After the Prohibition period had ended, spiked cider was no longer as popular. Regular beer and spirits became a lot more common choices. However, now, in the 21st century, the interest in cider is growing again and there’s even a big market for craft cider.
The Craft Cider Movement
The craft cider movement, similar to the craft beer movement, has gained momentum. Small, independent cideries have emerged, producing a wide range of artisanal ciders with varying flavors and styles.
The bottled spiked cider variations can be sweet, dry, still, or sparkling. They can also have varying levels of alcohol content. If you are making hot spiked cider in your bar or restaurant, the ABV will depend on the recipe you used or the bartender who makes it.
Spiked Cider in Restaurants
As we already mentioned, spike cider is a great drink to have on the menu for the colder seasons. The flavors and aromas of the drink make it perfect for fall and winter time. It gives a warm, cozy vine which the restaurant customers will love!
Spiked cider goes well with cheese platters, charcuterie boards, pork dishes, roasted chicken, and different fall salads. It can also be combined with spicy foods, seafood dishes, sausages, and various desserts.
Frequently Asked Questions about Spiked Cider
Have some more questions about spiked ciders? Let’s see what other people ask and what the answer is!
Is Spiked Cider Gluten-Free?
Many spiked ciders are gluten-free because they are made from apples, which are naturally gluten-free. However, it's essential to check the product label to be sure if you are buying a bottled apple cider.
If you are serving such a beverage in your bar or restaurant, make sure it’s clearly marked on the menu if the drink contains gluten.
Is Spiked Cider the Same as Apple-Flavored Beer?
Spiked cider and apple-flavored beer are different - both in terms of taste and how they are made. Spiked cider is made from fermented apple juice, while apple-flavored beer is beer with added apple flavors.
Spiked cider is typically gluten-free, while beers most commonly contain gluten. For the gluten-intolerant customers, it’s best to have more gluten-free drinks.
Is Spiked Cider Served Hot or Cold?
Spiked cider can be served either hot or cold, depending on personal preference and the season. Hot spiked cider is a popular choice during colder months, and it’s commonly found in seasonal menus of bars and restaurants.