two glasses of spiced sour orange cider

Spiced Sour Orange Cider: Christmas Cocktails, Florida-Style

oranges, lemons, and cloves boiling in orange juice — this is spiced sour orange cider
Spiced sour orange cider — festivity in the making.
Cathy Salustri

“This tastes like sour orange,” my husband tells me as he sips his drink, the newly invented spiced sour orange cider.

The drink didn’t start that way, but the more I sip it, the more I agree — and the more I can get behind a sour orange holiday. Plus, I like how “spiced sour orange cider” sounds.

I’m a fan of Chef Justin at Fresh from Florida, although I have real concerns about what “Fresh from Florida” means for life in the Everglades. I’ve tried several of his recipes, and without fail I enjoy them quite a bit.

When he sent a Thanksgiving email, in it he included a recipe for Florida Orange-Cinnamon Cider, and I tucked it aside until I had a free afternoon.

Today I had that free afternoon, although making spiced sour orange cider took all of 10 minutes. I adapted it because it didn’t smell or look the way I wanted it to look or smell, and my results are likely different than what he intended, but I’m happy, and if you like sour orange things,  I think you will be, too. With apologies to Chef Justin…

Spiced Sour Orange Cider Ingredients

4 cups (Florida) orange juice (I used Uncle Matt’s; please do not use Minute Maid or Tropicana — and here’s why)

4 cups apple cider (I used Trader Joe’s)

2 (Florida) oranges, sliced (I used Valencia because they’re juicy)

1/4 c. black mangrove honey

1 lemon, sliced thin

2-5 sticks cinnamon

2 Tbsp. cinnamon

16-20 whole cloves

Dried and sweetened orange slices

Optional: Bacardi 151

Directions

  1. Bring everything but rum and honey to a boil, then simmer 5 minutes
  2. Add honey; stir
  3. Serve in glasses
  4. Add one shot rum (optional) to each drink
  5. Garnish with orange slices
  6. After the first few sips, put garnish in drink to mellow tartness at the end

Did you make spiced sour orange cider? Tell me what you thought; I love to hear from readers! Happy whatever makes you happy this season!

two glasses of spiced sour orange cider
Getting festive, Florida-style.
Photo by Cathy Salustri