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Winter Wedding Signature Drink: Hot Apple Cider

Apple cider is a welcome drink during the crisp days of fall, but you can serve it at your winter or Christmas wedding if you warm it up and add some mulling spices. Rum or bourbon adds a kick and makes it special, or you can leave it nonalcoholic so guests of all ages can enjoy. This recipe from Martha Stewart Weddings is fast and easy to make for a crowd.

122313-hotciderHot Apple Cider with Sugared Cranberries

Yield: 4

2-1/4c apple cider
2 whole allspice berries
3 oz. bourbon or dark rum
Sugared cranberries (recipe below)

Bring cider and allspice to boil. Remove from heat and cover. Let stand for 10 minutes. Skim the foam and strain, discarding the allspice. Pour 1/2c cider into each mug, adding 3/4oz. of your chosen alcohol. Embellish with sugared cranberries on a skewer.

Sugared Cranberries

2c sugar
2c water
2c fresh cranberries
3/4c fine sanding sugar

Combine sugar and water in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Stir until the sugar dissolves. Remove from heat, and let cool for 10 minutes.

Place the cranberries in a bowl and pour syrup over the top. Let cool completely, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate overnight.

The next day, drain the cranberries, reserving the syrup for another use. Place sugar in a shallow dish and roll the cranberries in the sugar to coat. Spread in a single layer on a baking sheet and allow to dry at room temperature, about 1 hour.