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Cider Wassail

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Cider Wassail

A wonderful cold-weather get-together drink, perfect for a special party or for a more informal après ski. The combination is more flavorful and with the whipped cream topping, even smoother than the more usual hot buttered rum. Remember when planning bigger batches that whipping cream doubles in volume when whipped.

Yield: Makes enough for 10 to 15 demitasse cupfuls.

Ingredients

  • 4 cups good fresh cider 1/4 to 1/3 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup dark rum
  • 2 tablespoons brandy
  • 2 tablespoons apple brandy
  • 1 tablespoon orange liqueur
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 rounded teaspoon orange juice concentrate
  • 1/2 cup whipping cream, whipped and lightly sweetened with 1 tablespoon confectioners' sugar, more or less
  • Fresh nutmeg, for garnish (optional)

Instructions

Bring cider to boil. Add sugar and stir until dissolved. Remove from heat. Stir in rum, brandy, apple brandy, orange liqueur, spices, and salt. Stir in orange juice concentrate. Heat over moderate heat, stirring, for 2 minutes. Pour into demitasse cups or wine glasses and top with a generous dollop of sweetened whipped cream. (The whipped cream makes a big difference in the finished taste of the drink -- don't omit it.) Garnish with fresh nutmeg if desired.
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