Autumn is hands down my favorite season. A big part of the reason is that the summer here in Arizona is so brutal that the cooler temps are a welcome respite, to put it mildly. Our autumn is like late spring/early summer in the northern part of the US. But the other big reason why I love autumn so much is because I of the food. I am a glutton and can't get enough of traditional fall cuisine. After months of eating lightly because it's just too hot to bother with anything but a salad, fall brings back the rich tastes I crave.
My father-in-law is visiting us from South Africa until Monday, and I wanted him to experience a real American Thanksgiving. We're throwing one on Wednesday and I am eagerly planning the menu. This is super exciting for me because it means I get to stuff my face with Thanksgiving deliciousness twice this year!
I'll be posting more of my favorite Thanksgiving recipes later throughout the week, but this one came to mind first because A) it's so sinfully delicious and B) I am nursing a hangover, not from this, but be warned - it can pack a punch.
A note on ingredients: I like to use organic apple cider (not apple juice) and Knudsen's organic mulling spices, but of course your favorite brands are fine. Look for mulling spices sold in tea bag form. You can make this without the rum for a non-alcoholic version, just replace that amount with more cider.
Hot Buttered Cider
1/2 gallon apple cider
8 mulling spice bags
2 cups white rum
8 pats butter
Simmer apple cider and rum in a large pot over medium heat. Add mulling spice bags and steep for ten minutes. Ladle into cups and top each cup with a pat of butter. Makes 8 servings.
This is a lovely beverage to offer guests at holiday festivities or just a nice reward to yourself on a chilly autumn night. It can be made ahead of time and reheated. Just wait until right before serving to top with butter. Make sure you use real butter, not a butter substitute. I used salted butter because that's what I had on hand, but I'm sure unsalted would be fine as well.