I’ve never been much of a coffee drinker. On rare occasions when I am feeling in need of the caffeine boost, I’ll drink a cup of coffee, but I make myself consume it black so I don’t actually like the way it tastes and that way I won’t get addicted to it. That sort of makes a little bit of sense, right?
While I definitely enjoy hot tea often, apple cider is my winter beverage of choice. Say what you want about hot chocolate or eggnog, but in my mind apple cider is the perfect beverage on a cold winter’s day. Recently, I’ve become a bit obsessed with Starbuck’s caramel apple spice. But, with my gift card supply dwindling and not wanting to shell out $3+ of my own money, I decided to make my own.
Turns out, their “apple spice” is simply a mixture of steamed apple juice and cinnamon dolce syrup that is topped with whipped cream and caramel sauce. I can do that. And so can you.
Cinnamon Dolce Syrup
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup water
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1-2 cinnamon sticks
1/2 tsp whole cloves
1/2 tsp whole allspice
Peel of one small orange (a clementine cutie works well)
Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan. Simmer on low heat for 40 minutes. Mixture should be very fragrant. Remove cinnamon sticks, cloves, allspice and orange peel from the syrup. Syrup may be stored in the fridge in an airtight container.
For Apple Cider:
Place 2 tablespoons (more or less depending on how sweet you like your cider) cinnamon dolce syrup in the bottom of a mug. You can add a little caramel sauce in the bottom of the mug at this point also. Fill mug with apple juice. Microwave for about 1 1/2 minutes until throughly heated. Topped with whipped cream and caramel, if desired. Serve and enjoy!
Beverage is best enjoyed by a fire.
I’d certainly argue that this is way better than Apple Spice at Starbucks. It has more flavor for which I give much of the credit to the orange peel. I also love that you can easily control the level of sweetness.
Then again, I’m not exactly unbiased.
What is your winter drink of choice? Anyone like eggnog?
I haven’t actually tried it since I was 10 or so, but I remember thinking it was the nastiest thing ever. I’m afraid to try it again!
I hope everyone is enjoying getting ready for Christmas! I can’t believe it is so soon.