OT: Hot Apple Cider Question

Submitted by seanml11 on September 24th, 2009 at 7:11 PM

I was born in Michigan and lived there untill the fourth grade. My favorite beverage when Fall and Winter came into its own was hot apple cider. I'm 33 years old and currently live in Orlando, FL and I long for some good cider. I went to my first Michigan game three years ago and FREAKED OUT when I was able to get hot apple cider and a bag of donuts at the Big House. The hot apple cider at the game tasted the exact same as when I had cider as a kid. Can someone please tell me how to make it or where to buy it? I have had many different hot ciders down here in FL and they just don't tast the same. I know this request is pretty damn vague, but I would love to be able to have some Michigan cider and let my kids experience it as well. I asked my parents if they had any idea how it was made or had any recipes and they answered no to both questions. When I asked them why the apple cider down here just doesn't taste the same they said it probably is a different type of apple that Michigan produces. Any insight would be helpfull! THANKS!



September 24th, 2009 at 7:17 PM ^

I just get the packets of apple cider mix from the grocery store (where the hot chocolate is at) and then simmer it on the stove for about an hour or so with cinnamon sticks. It's really good, but probably not as good as homemade apple cider.

Here's a recipe I just found on the internet:


I'm definitely going to try this soon.


September 24th, 2009 at 7:15 PM ^

buy mixes with the spices for it in any grocery store and all u need is a percolator...me and my roomates made it that way last year it was good, easy to make, and cheap.


September 24th, 2009 at 7:29 PM ^

The type of apple really makes a difference in the taste and quality of the cider. It may sound strange, but it’s true. My grandparents owned an orchard and grandma was close to the “Soup Nazi” when it came to her cider and its production. Once you have the good apples for it, it’s a matter of determining the seasoning you prefer. The basic are the cinnamon sticks and cloves. She used to make one with the little red cinnamon candies that we loved as kids…….The captain came a little later in life…. Sorry if there are any typos or grammar errors, it is scotch time after a long day.


September 24th, 2009 at 10:03 PM ^

Where do you get non-pasteurized cider? I just checked mine in the fridge from the local cider mill and it is cold-pasteurized.
I remember happening across some fermented cider as a child and thinking it was the best thing since moon boots (which really sucked, despite being totally cool).


September 25th, 2009 at 9:27 AM ^

Any orchard should have it.

They claim cold or UV pastureizing doesn't change the flavor, but it does. GO DIRECT to the orchard, where they have an old cast iron press in the barn, and sell it from a shack out front.


September 25th, 2009 at 1:54 PM ^

California for example doesn't allow non-pasteurized cider. Pasteurized cider really doesn't taste the same. You often see FILTERED cider in stores there, too. That's not cider - it's apple juice!

There's pressure in Michigan to only allow pasteurized cider, even at mills. Let's hope it never happens.


September 24th, 2009 at 7:21 PM ^

I know the exact cider and donuts you are speaking of. They came from Wiard's Orchard. I remember getting them at games many years ago with my dad and made a tradition of it until they started the construction and as far as I know they are no longer available at the stadium.

Of all the great things about the expansion of the Big House that is the one negative I can find. The donuts and cider they used to sell are no where to be found and you cannot bring any into the stadium.

If someone can confirm they are still for sale in the stadium, I would be thrilled.

I can tell you this about hot apple cider though, heat it in a crock pot slowly, add in Captain Morgan and you have the greatest tasting warm alcoholic beverage there is. Nothing is better on a cool/cold fall evening than Captain and hot cider.

OMG Shirtless

September 24th, 2009 at 7:22 PM ^

I wish I could help you, because I love Hot Apple Cider (With Captain Morgans or Without) in the fall with some donuts. My only guess is to google some of the Michigan Cider Mills and see if they have any recipes or something.


September 24th, 2009 at 7:32 PM ^

And that may not be available in Florida, but I second Enjoy Life's suggestion: the first day a cider starts to ferment is a tiny window to heaven. It's tangy, a tiny bit bubbly, and perfect for mulling.

W/r/t mulling, if you have a well stocked kitchen you shouldn't have to resort to prepackaged spices; just add some combination of cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, and cloves. You can experiment to get the mixture that suits you, but in general just go lighter on the cloves. Let it go on low heat for an hour or so or until you really need some cider.

Then, oh yes, then add a heaping bottle of brandy. It doesn't have to be nice brandy either. If you don't mind the whole stewing the kid in the mother's milk thing you can use Laird's applejack.

As a final touch, add a dollop of butter, because why not?

Good luck. Man, I miss Wiard's. The haunted house was great too.


September 24th, 2009 at 7:46 PM ^

Thank you guys so much for the great info and suggestions. I was expecting a neg fest on my "Apple Cider" post but got some great info instead. Once I saw the first reference of "Captain Morgan" and cider I flipped out. That sounds like heaven in a cup! I will get to it right away!


September 24th, 2009 at 8:38 PM ^

Sorry Tom, I might be a retard, I can't seem to figure out how to order from them online. I know that louisburg cider mill in Kansas ships all over the country, but I would like to support a Michigan cider mill instead.

Hopefully they can ship to California because I am not craving some apple cider.

Wolverine In Exile

September 24th, 2009 at 8:46 PM ^

Go to the grocery store and get the "Simply Apple" brand of apple juice. It's a bit cloudier and more tart than the sugared up "kids" apple juices out there making it more like cider. To make a traditional michigan cider mill hot apple cider, pour about 2 cups in a pot / saucepan and simmer with one whole cinnamon stick. Jackpot-- you got yourself hot spiced cider. Stay away from cloves-- they have a danger in ruining the whole batch if you use too much / too little.

As for the donuts-- NOTHING compares to cider mill donuts. NOTHING. Not Tim Hortons, not Dunkin Donuts, not Dawns Donuts, not Krispy Kreme. I think you're stuck on those being in Florida, unless you have relatives in Michigan that are willing to overnight some to you. But that's $30 for a dozen donuts. A high price to pay indeed (but one that has been done with great success for my until recently pregnant wife in one of her 'damn it I want this food now!' (You'd be surprised how fast a case of National Coney Islands can be shipped when necessary)


September 24th, 2009 at 8:54 PM ^

I haven't seen it mentioned here yet, but allspice is a key ingredient to hot cider. I don't really use a recipe, but usually throw about 2 cups of cider into a pot with a cinnamon stick, a few whole clovers(3-4) and a few whole allspice (3-4). Bring it to a boil and simmer it for about 10 minutes.

I'm in NY so I don't have Michigan cider, but its pretty much the same. My guess is you just need to be near a lot of apple orchards, so anywhere in the northern states.


September 24th, 2009 at 9:18 PM ^

They used to serve it at the Brown Jug -- I was stoked for it when I got to M, but between when I was 11 and 18 they stopped serving it.

Still, it hooked me, and I got the recipe. Not counting some college concoctions best left in college, this and cereal are the two things I can make for myself. Forget "allspice." You need ground cinnamon, and...not kidding...butter.

That's the secret ingredient.

Just a teaspoon should do. It makes it thick and yummyish.

Hey, man, it's the Midwest; you had to expect butter would be in there somewhere!


September 24th, 2009 at 10:13 PM ^

Caramel Buttered Rum

½ C sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
5 T unsalted butter, cut in small pieces
8 C apple cider
Pinch salt
1 ½ C dark rum or to taste

Place sugar in large pan and set over medium heat. Heat until sugar melts. (Do not stir.) When sugar has melted, stir with a metal fork until it turns a deep, golden color. Slowly stir in the cider. (Be careful – the mixture will spit and sputter.) The sugar will harden; continue cooking and stirring until it dissolves. Stir in cinnamon and salt. When bubbles begin to form around the edge of the pan, remove from heat and whisk in the butter and rum. Serve in small mugs. Serves 10.


September 24th, 2009 at 10:02 PM ^

No matter how random and OT it is. I just bought some cider and stuck it in the microwave not knowing that there was more to hot cider than just, you know, cider and electromagnetic waves. I will try these recipes ASAP.

Stephen Y

September 24th, 2009 at 10:39 PM ^

Speaking of cider... has anyone ever tried any hard ciders, such as Strongbow or Bulmer's? During the fall, I substitute a six pack of beer with six Strongbows. Great thing about it is that it's a dry cider... not sweet like Woodchuck (which is for girls). It also gives a great, warm buzz. However, it's pretty much only found in stores that have an extensive beer collection, so be on the look out!

A Case of Blue

September 24th, 2009 at 10:52 PM ^

I am obsessed with hard cider of any and all kinds. In Europe, you can get a bottle of cider the size of a wine bottle for about 1.50 euros, and I can't drink wine, so I really got hooked on cider when I lived there.

Pear cider is also delicious. I know Woodchuck makes a pear cider, but you might be able to find it from other brands.

I honestly don't notice the difference between brands, but I don't drink that often, so my palate is all kinds of shite.

A Case of Blue

September 24th, 2009 at 10:54 PM ^

Why exactly are you looking to drink a hot beverage at this time of year? I don't know what it's like up in Orlando, but the temperature is still hovering around 90 in South Florida, and I can't seem to get in a cider sort of mood, even though it's one of my favorite things. Same with homemade soup and pot pies, which are fall staples around my house. Or were, until I moved to the land of eternal summer.