Hot apple cider - and what to serve with it
I have a group of 8 hungry adults visiting to help with some yardwork. Before a big ethnic Eastern European dinner, I am going to serve some drinks and nibbles. Being the middle of winter here, I was thinking hot apple cider for the drinks made in a crockpot. Apart from the obvious - cider, cinnamon stick, maybe some Calvados and butter to top each each mug - what are your suggestions for additions to the cider brew - nutmeg? Dried juniper berries? Fresh halved apples? Also for cider, are there any preferred varieties or brands? Should I go with the super sweet Rekorderlig type or something drier?
As for munchies to go with it, I am considering slices of smoked pork sausage, maybe some pretzels. Considering the carb heavy main meal, something like pulled pork sliders would be too much bother, but I do want a few cold and hot options to line the stomach and soak up the cider.
For the crockpot, Good unfiltered Cider, a few cinnamon sticks definitely, and quarter a couple of unpeeled apples, core out the quarters, and garnish the crockpot contents with those. For the mugs, a splash of Calvados, maybe a pat of butter, and a cinnamon stick. I wouldn't add another thing.
Find a good whole grain mustard to go with the sliced sausage and pretzels, maybe some gherkins, and you're good to go.
PS: it's fun, here in the heat of the Northeastern US, to think about winter and winter food.
Thanks, mcsheridan. Gherkins and mustard will add a bit of tang. I thought about serving apple slices and cheese, but there is no point in overcomplicating things by cutting through the flavours of the cider with cheese and making it too twee with apples everywhere.
I am treating myself to a sneaky test run of the warm cider tomorrow!
A New South Wales winter in no way compares to a Northeastern US winter, but I enjoy the cooler weather while it lasts. There is a nice bite in the air from the ocean and this is the one time of year a girl can legitimately wear a knitted scarf and knee boots and not look like a victim from a Pinterest board.