Apple cider can be used in many ways, ranging from cooking to using it as an air freshener. The difference between cider and juice is that cider is raw apple juice that has not been filtered and has apple particles in it. Juice has undergone the filtering system to remove all the apple particles and will stay fresh longer. Cider can also be turned into a cider vinegar that has a lot of great benefits.
You can make fresh cider at home. It is actually very easy but a very long process. You can ferment it to have hard apple cider, which is considered an alcoholic beverage. When choosing the apples, they should be small and free from blemishes. They should also be firm and ripe and it is best to use a variety of different apples to create the best flavor. Once clean, you must core the apples, and then they have to be crushed and pasteurized.
The good news is that you don’t have to make the cider yourself; you can buy it already made. Cold Hollow Cider Mill in Vermont makes fresh cider from McIntosh apples when they are at their peak. You can actually see the “old fashioned rack and cloth cider press.” Once you’ve visited their store, you won’t want to buy cider anywhere else. The great news is you can now order it online, but only from October 1st to April 1st. During that time you can order plenty of cider and freeze it so that it will last you all year long.
One great use of cider is to make cider caramels. These are nice and chewy and have the great taste of apples. All it takes is cider, cinnamon, sea salt, butter, sugar, brown sugar, and heavy cream.
The cider can also be used as an air freshener. Simply put some cider in a pan, add allspice, cloves, and cinnamon and let it boil. It will have your house smelling like Christmas anytime of the year.
Cider has also been known to make a great liquid with which to braise your meat. Put some ribs on your smoker and keep them braised with the cider and you will have some award winning meat.
The cider can be used in a lot of recipes in place of other liquids. You can always change up your favorite recipe by using cider. It will not ruin the recipe. Use it as vinaigrette for a salad, to cure smoked salmon, or add to any kind of pork when cooking it. You can even add it to your favorite barbecue sauce to give it a different flavor.
For alcoholic beverages, cider can be made into a liquid moonshine. Just mix it with spices and a grain alcohol and it is quite good. You can also take some cider, boil it down until it is thick and syrupy, add a little bourbon and you have a homemade cocktail. Cider can also be used in place of rum for fruitcakes.
A lot of people do not realize that the cider is also great for their pets. Veterinarians recommend cider for pets that have a problem with bladder stones.
The list of things that can be done with apple cider is endless. All you have to do is to use your imagination. Take anything that calls for some kind of liquid and add the cider— especially if you love the taste of apples. Don’t be afraid to try it at least once. You may find that you have created an award-winning recipe.