A hot cup of spiced apple cider is a simple fall pleasure that I for one, am won’t to miss. Tendrils of steam waft up from your cup, and from inside your cozy abode all is well with the world. I wanted to take that cozy experience and amp it up for a more adult audience. Enter a cream soda syrup infused with ginger, cinnamon and star anise (a nod to J.K. Rowling’s butterbeer) and booze, and a simple cup of cider became a swarthy cider punch. Note: This recipe is for a cold drink, but to create a hot version, heat the apple cider in a crockpot before adding the alcohol and other ingredients. Leave on low heat to keep warm.
Apple Butterbeer Punch
- 2 cans cream soda
- 2 1-inch pieces of ginger, bashed lightly with a knife
- 1 stick cinnamon
- 1 star anise
- 4 cups unfiltered apple cider
- 1.5 cups spiced rum OR 1.5 cups bourbon
- 1/2 cup amaretto (if using rum) OR 1/4 cup amaretto (if using bourbon)
- Garnish: 2 apples, sliced into rounds; candied ginger for cocktail rim
- Pour cream soda into soup pot. Add ginger, cinnamon and star anise. Bring to a boil (keep an eye on it and stir as needed, it will tend towards overflowing), and reduce to a simmer. Let simmer for 10-15 minutes, until a runny syrup consistency. Let cool for 5 minutes.
- Using a bar spoon or wooden spoon, mix apple cider, rum or bourbon, amaretto, cream soda syrup and 4 dashes of bitters together in a punch bowl or large mason jar.
- To serve, garnish with apple rounds or put out glasses with candied ginger on the rim. Alternatively, to make this even more autumnal, dip glass rims into apple cider, then into a cinnamon-sugar mixture, before filling with punch.