Apple cider is literally an enchanted drink that will suit any season but is prevalent in fall. You can warm it up and enjoy it in cold weather while it becomes a great chilly refreshment in hot weather too. So, this article will discuss all the ingredients that make apple cider so special.
The base ingredient of apple cider is obviously apple, while in most homemade recipes it also contains oranges. In addition, this beverage is sweetened with brown sugar or other sweeteners like maple syrup, agave syrup, etc. And it is spiced up with flavors like:
So, here’s all you need to know about what is in this warm, fruity punch!
What Is In Apple Cider?
You can easily buy pre-packaged apple cider from the store or make it at home (as many would prefer). However, an assortment of apples works as the base ingredient of this drink. And several warm spices play a significant role in enriching it with a deep flavor.
These apple cider spices will often remind you of the bliss of Christmas since all of them are used as seasonal baking spices. One special characteristic of these aromatics is that they contain a subtle sweetness that would complement the tart, robust taste of the apples.
Cinnamon is one of the staple ingredients in apple cider. This spice has a slight citrusy note with sweet, woody, and subtle spicy hints. Cinnamon almost has a woody fragrance that will make anything appealing.
This spice is usually incorporated into this drink in its stick form. But sometimes, there are occasions where ground cinnamon is used. It essentially pairs with all the other spices used in this drink.
Incredibly aromatic cloves are apparently the most potent spice in this beverage. It is typically used in its whole form. Thus, it bestows apple cider with its astringent, slightly sweet, bitter and spicy flavor notes.
The compound (eugenol) in cloves activates well throughout the slow simmering process of this drink to distribute its flavor through the fruits. Cloves particularly get along with cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice.
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Whole allspice berries work as nicely as other spices used in our topic leader. Its intriguing flavor profile, which is a combination of cloves, nutmeg, and cinnamon, complements the fruits and sweetness with a subtle warmth.
Some homemade recipes also use ground allspice, but whole berries have a much more intense flavor. This element pairs with the rest of the spices used here.
Nutmeg is a tough guy compared to other spices in this beverage! But still, its flavor can never be underestimated. It gives a distinctive taste to apple cider with its unique nutty, warm and nuanced bitter-sweet elements.
This spice can be incorporated in its ground form or preferably as a whole fruit. Accordingly, nutmeg is often backed by complementary flavors like cinnamon, cloves, and allspice.
Ginger is a flavoring known for its exceptional ability to supplement beverages. This spice is actually not a staple in apple cider, like cinnamon and cloves. But still, a little piece of ginger has the capability to go a long way!
Raw ginger has a warm, sweet flavor with citrusy and floral hints. Therefore, fresh ginger would always work better than ginger powder in this drink. This spice mainly teams up with cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and allspice.
The heat of autumn is different from the heat of summer. One ripens apples; the other turns them into cider.Jane Hirshfield
Other Apple Cider Ingredients
Apart from the spices mentioned above, this beverage includes ingredients like:
- Apples (often used varieties are: Dabinett, Pink lady, Gala, Braeburn, McIntosh, Red Delicious, Honeycrisp, Granny Smith, Cortland, Fuji, etc.)
- Brown sugar/ dark brown sugar/ white sugar/ maple syrup/ agave
- Ascorbic acid (in commercially made varieties)
Apple Cider Ingredients Are Actually What Makes It So Special!
When making this beverage, the richness of ripened apples is basically supplemented with warm spices like cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, allspice, nutmeg, and ginger. Most of the time, oranges are used as a complementary ingredient along with sweeteners like brown sugar, maple syrup, or agave.