Today I wanted to share this super basic go-to for me whenever we have people over or want to do something special for our family … creating a super simple & pretty apple cider bar! I’m so excited to share this apple cider bar with you guys because here in Michigan apples are huge in the fall. We have 15 million apple trees here in Michigan, 775+ family-owned apple orchards in Michigan, & so many apple orchards close by our farm. I feel coziest when I have a drink on me, I always have some kind of drink whether it’s coffee, cherry coke, water, tea, or apple cider! Let’s get cozy…
- Get a Container: We are doing cold apple cider so I am using this pretty container from Michaels to serve the cider. If you were doing hot apple cider you could keep it in a crockpot or insulated container. With a crockpot, you can keep in there to keep it hot and transfer to a pretty container as needed or serve out of the crockpot with a ladle.
2. Apple Garnish: Slice your apples into thin circles for a pretty garnish. I prefer cutting them into circles instead of slices but you can cut them however you prefer! I put apple circles into the apple cider as well.
3. Apple Cider: Normally I don’t make the apple cider, I will instead purchase from a local orchard. It is definitely easier to purchase from a local orchard & support them. If you had the extra time & wanted to you could make your own cider, I’ll share an apple cider recipe at the end of the blog post!
4. Extra Garnishes: Load your apple cider bar with a bunch of garnishes to add to your cider. For today’s apple cider bar I have apple slices, cinnamon sticks, pumpkin spice, and ground cinnamon. Other garnish ideas for your cider bar could be cranberries, sliced oranges, star anise, cloves, and alcohol for a spiked cider!
5. Treats: No apple cider bar is complete without a dessert! I picked up a cute little apple pie to complete our apple cider bar. Lots of your local orchards will have some kind of dessert, donuts, or treats that you can pick up when you get your cider!
- 6 large tart apples, such as Granny Smith (about 2 pounds)
- 6 large sweet apples, such as Gala (about 2 pounds)
- 12 whole cloves
- 6 cinnamon sticks
- 1/2 to 1 cup packed light brown sugar
- Thoroughly wash and dry the apples. Cut each apple into 8 wedges (skins, seeds and stems included) and transfer to a 7-quart slow cooker. Add the cloves, cinnamon sticks and 12 cups water. Cook on high, covered, for 4 hours.
- Remove the lid and carefully crush the apples with a potato masher. Cover again and cook on high for another 2 hours.
- Set a large, fine-mesh strainer over a large stockpot. In batches, ladle the apple mixture into the strainer and use the back of the ladle to press down on the apple pulp to extract the liquid. Discard the pulp. Stir in 1/2 cup of the brown sugar until completely dissolved. Taste and add additional sugar if needed.
- Serve the apple cider hot or allow it to cool fully, then serve it chilled over ice.
I hope this inspires you to create a drink bar in your house whether you are having guests over or just want to do something special for your family! We’ve been making so many apple cider bars lately and I love how fun & creative you can be with something simple like this. If you recreate the apple cider bar be sure to tag me in your photos on Facebook or Instagram! If you aren’t creating an apple cider bar now be sure to pin & save this post for future inspiration.