Patty here for your Thirsty Thirteenth! Who doesn’t love hot apple cider? Especially on those cooling fall nights. And especially when you spike it with rum and take the heat up an extra notch with some habanero peppers. Yeah, we went there. We had a party planned at our house for after an outdoor beer tasting in late October. It was that weird time of year when it’s sunny and fairly warm one day and cloudy and chilled the next. The weather forecast called for not only cold and cloudy but a bit of rain as well. Ugh. Not so great for an outdoor gathering. So, I knew people would be looking for something to warm them up when we got back to our place after the beer tasting. To give them some extra heat, I infused habaneros into the cider-punch. I really wanted a fall tasting drink, so apple cider and maple syrup were calling my name, especially with some cinnamon.
I love infusing liquors with chili peppers so much and there are so many different ways to do it. If you are dealing with a simple syrup you can infuse so fast, you won’t blink an eye because you are heating the syrup. The peppers break down and infuse very quickly. It's all about the heating process. Since I wanted to use maple syrup, I didn’t even have to make a simple syrup, just heat up the maple syrup, toss in some sliced habanero, and within a couple minutes you are done.
Mike's Perspective: Everyone really loved this! Quite the apple flavor, and so uber autumn. The habanero pepper was a very nice touch. A nice and WARM touch. Brrr! Highly welcomed on a chilly day.
Extra Hot Apple Cider Punch - The Recipe
- 1-½ quarts Rum
- 2 quarts Apple Cider
- 2 quarts Apple Juice
- 1 cup lemon juice
- 1 habanero, sliced
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- ½ green apple, sliced
- ½ red apple, sliced
- 1 lemon, sliced
- 12 Cinnamon sticks
- In a sauce pan at medium heat add maple syrup and habanero.
- Cook for about 5 minutes stirring occasionally.
- Remove from heat to allow to cool.
- In a large crockpot, add all other ingredients, reserving some lemon slices and cinnamon sticks for garnishing the glasses.
- Add the habanero infused maple syrup.
- Let simmer for at least 2 hours to infuse the flavors.
- Serve the hot cider in glasses with a cinnamon stick and lime wheel.