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How To Make Apple Cider

How To Make Apple Cider

If you’ve always wanted to learn how to make apple cider, the process can range from extremely easy to much more labor intensive.

Historically speaking, people once used the cider press, a non-mechanical device, to squeeze out the juice from apples – and they would just call that apple cider. From there, employers could pay their employees with it, and pay rent or other obligations.

We’ve come a long way since the days apple cider was used as a form of commerce. Apple cider also has a different meaning today: it’s a spiced apple drink – not just apple juice.

You can find apple cider ready-made at the store, or you can create your own – either using purchased apple juice or, for a more natural drink, fresh apples.

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However you make it, apple cider is the perfect drink for autumn and for using all those ripened apples!

Apple Cider: The Super Easy Way
apple cider

    If you want to make your cider a little more special and don’t want to just get the store-bought version, follow this recipe.

    What You’ll Need: 

    • apple juice – 1 gallon
    • some cheesecloth (enough to make a little “bag of spices”)
    • spices – cinnamon, cloves (whole or ground), ginger, nutmeg
    • orange peel from one orange
    • 1/3 cup brown sugar (optional)
    • cinnamon stick (optional)

    What To Do:

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    1. Pour the apple juice into a large pan. Turn your stove on to medium-low heat.

    make apple cider

      As the apple juice is heating, prepare the cheesecloth by laying it out and then putting 1-2 teaspoons each of cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg on the cloth. Add the orange peel, and 3-4 whole cloves or 1 teaspoon ground cloves. Using the corners of the cloth, tie it into a small bag.

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      apple cider cinnamon nutmeg ginger orange cloves

         

        Place the cheesecloth bag into the cider. Add the brown sugar at this time, if desired. Stir occasionally. You’ll see the spices and sugar dissolving into the apple juice.

        apple juice and cider with spices

          Once the mixture is hot (20-30 minutes), use a slotted spoon to take out the cheesecloth bag. Set aside and let cool. Compost the orange peel and spices.

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          Ladle the cider into mugs and serve with a cinnamon stick. You’ll want to be sure to consume all of the cider within one week of making it.

          Make Apple Cider Using Fresh Apples

          If you want to skip the grocery store altogether and make cider from scratch, you’ll need a few on-hand kitchen items, and a little time.

          What You’ll Need:

          • 36 apples, preferably a mix of red and green varieties, washed thoroughly (Red Delicious and Granny Smith are good bets)
          • apple corer (nice to have, but not necessary if you don’t already have one)
          • blender
          • cheesecloth
          • spices – cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves
          • orange or lemon peel
          • cinnamon sticks (optional)
          • whipped cream (optional)

          What To Do:

          1. Core the apples. You can either do this by using an apple corer or cutting each apple in half and scooping out the center (seeds and all) with a knife.
          2. Quarter the apples so they will fit more easily in the blender.
          3. Place the apples in a blender and puree them (both peel and pulp). You’ll probably have to do this in batches to accommodate all the apples.
          4. Place the cheesecloth over a bowl, and pour the apple puree with its juice over the cloth. Squeeze the pulp to extract more juice.
          5. Lift out the cheesecloth with the pulp and you’re left with the juice.
          6. You can now drink as-is or heat the juice over medium-low heat. Then add the spices of your choice, by the teaspoonful, until you’re satisfied with the taste. Add either the orange or lemon peel, depending on your preferences.
          7. Strain out the spices once the cider is hot, but not boiling. You can use cheesecloth and strain the cider into a bowl once again, or skim off the spices and orange or lemon peel with a large spoon.
          8. Serve in mugs with whipped cream and a cinnamon stick.

          Yield: approximately one gallon of cider

          More Tips:

          • If you do happen to have access to a cider press, it’s always fun to extract juice from apples the “old-fashioned” way.
          • You can add a little rum and brown sugar to instantly make hard cider.
          • If you heat the cider to 160° F, you effectively pasteurize it, allowing it to keep a little longer – up to 21 days. If not, you’ll want to consume it within 7 days.

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          Cyndi Calhoun

          Cyndi is a passionate writer who writes about lifestyle tips on Lifehack.

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          Last Updated on January 21, 2020

          The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

          The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

          Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

          your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

            Why You Need a Vision

            Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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            How to Create Your Life Vision

            Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

            What Do You Want?

            The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

            It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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            Some tips to guide you:

            • Remember to ask why you want certain things
            • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
            • Give yourself permission to dream.
            • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
            • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

            Some questions to start your exploration:

            • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
            • What would you like to have more of in your life?
            • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
            • What are your secret passions and dreams?
            • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
            • What do you want your relationships to be like?
            • What qualities would you like to develop?
            • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
            • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
            • What would you most like to accomplish?
            • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

            It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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            What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

            Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

            A few prompts to get you started:

            • What will you have accomplished already?
            • How will you feel about yourself?
            • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
            • What does your ideal day look like?
            • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
            • What would you be doing?
            • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
            • How are you dressed?
            • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
            • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
            • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

            It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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            Plan Backwards

            It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

            • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
            • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
            • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
            • What important actions would you have had to take?
            • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
            • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
            • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
            • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
            • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

            Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

            It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

            Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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