Castle’s Spiced Cider
The holidays mean a lot of different things to a lot of different people. To us here at CastleMountain Lodge it means welcoming members of our lodge family back to our wonderful property. It means working hard to get Christmas lights up all over the property. It means quiet snowfalls, a crackling fire, and the magic that only this season can bring. It means our Old Fashioned Christmas Package and it means we get our spiced cider in the crock-pot for our guests to enjoy.
It’s a guest favorite and we go through gallons of cider throughout the season. We get out lights up by Thanksgiving and leave them up until just after Valentines Day and our cider follows the same schedule. It always feels good to gather the ingredients, get it cooking in the lobby and enjoy the smell it brings and the conversations it promotes as guests spend time in the lobby by a crackling fire enjoying our famous concoction.
Guests often ask how it’s made and we give them the quick run down, it’s actually very easy. But we figured it would be nice to show you exactly how it’s done!
3 cinnamon sticks
1 bottle of the apple juice of your choice
1 bottle of the cranberry juice cocktail of your choice.
Fill a crock pot two thirds to three quarters full of apple juice. Fill remainder one third or one quarter with cranberry juice. Using more apple juice will make it sweeter, using more cranberry will make it more tart.
Cut the orange into three circular slices and stick one cinnamon stick through the middle of each orange slice. Place orange/cinnamon into the juice. Turn heat up to high with the lid on until it’s close to boiling, then reduce heat to the ‘warm’ setting. You can let it ‘cook’ for two to three days or until the oranges and cinnamon begin to disintegrate. If you need to top it off, due to evaporation, add more apple juice.
Fill your mug, think about your lodge family here in Estes Park, and enjoy!