It's fall—so whether or not it's cold in your part of the world, it's time for apples and anything apple-related. (Please, don't get me started on pumpkin things. Seriously.)
Apple cider—or specifically, mulled apple cider—is a fabulous way to live up the season, make your home space smell amazing, and get rid of those last few apples that probably still taste good but look a little less than appetizing. If you haven't tried making it on your own because you assumed that it was a pain in the ass, you'd be dead wrong: all it requires is apples, sugar, and a few spices. (And an orange, if you know what's good for you.) A slow cooker will do the job with minimal effort on your part, and I promise you'll love the results.
I'd be lying if I didn't admit that there is one aspect of cider-making that's a bit annoying, though, and that's the straining that's required at the end. Not all of us have fine-mesh sieves just lying around the kitchen for easy use. But what a lot of us do have are French presses. And these handy kitchen appliances come with a fine-mesh sieve already, so...
I think you know where I'm going with this.
This nifty hack is handy for apple cider on your own or for multiple people: just dump out the apple gunk at the bottom when your French press is empty, then fill up with more fresh cider and press again. Just make sure you don't hulk out and press too hard, or you'll break it.
I love being able to make apple cider in the slow cooker, then ladle it into the French press and enjoy it immediately. It's deliciously lazy—perfect for a fall (or winter) night where all I want to do is binge the latest Netflix series, have a hot drink, and eat cookies. (And if it's a weekend night, I mix some liquor in that cup to make a hot toddy. Hot damn!)
Nothing you can buy in the store tastes as good or as satisfying as making cider yourself. And when it's this damn easy to enjoy it, why would you?
Got any other kick-ass tips for homemade cider? Let us know in the comments.