Fall is, hands down, my favorite time of year. I always look forward to the leaves bursting out in a riot of colors and the weather turning cool and crisp.
Every fall we take the kids apple and pumpkin-picking at a local farm. Without fail, we end up toting home a couple extra pumpkins, more bushels of apples than I know what to do with, and a couple gallons of apple juice and apple cider- the kids love sipping warmed cider around the firepit in the evening!
We haven't yet made our trip to the farm (that's on the agenda this weekend), but I had a hankering for apple cider now that the weather has turned cool. When I saw a recipe for Apple Cider Soda on Pinterest, I knew I had to try it.
Since I didn't have any apple juice on hand, I fished out a frozen 100% juice apple concentrate from the freezer and just used that instead, figuring it would be close enough for the time being. I put it into my heavy-bottomed pot on the stove and added the three cans of water the label listed.
I added the cinnamon sticks, ginger, and orange and let it simmer for about 45 minutes after bringing it to a boil.
Can I just say, my house smelled amazing.
Since it was nearing time for me to get the boys from school, I let the cider cool while I ran carpool, then served up the cider soda as a snack, adding club soda to the cider, along with some ice.
The boys and I loved it so much, every drop was gone by the next afternoon.
The cinnamon taste was pretty strong for us, so the next batch I used only 2 sticks and half an orange instead of a whole (since that's all I had!). It turned out much more to our liking that way.
Apple Cider Soda
1 quart organic apple juice
1 orange, sliced (leave peel on)
5 sticks cinnamon (we prefer only 2)
1 finger length ginger, sliced (leave skin on)
2 quarts sparkling water or club soda
Combine apple juice, orange slices, cinnamon and ginger in a medium pot and bring to a boil
Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes
Remove cider from stove and cool for 10 minutes
Fill a tall glass with ice
Pour ½ cup sparkling water into glass over ice
Pour ¼ cup apple cider into glass
Makes about 16 sodas