Apple cider (also called sweet cider, soft cider, or simply cider) is the name used in the United States and Canada for an unfiltered, unsweetened, non-alcoholic beverage made from apples.
– 10 to 12 medium apples cut into quarters (no need to peel or core), use a mix of varieties — Fuji, Gala, Honeycrisp, Granny Smith, McIntosh, Jonathan, etc.
– 2 large oranges
– 4 to 5 cinnamon sticks 2- to 3-inches each
– 1 tablespoon whole cloves or 1 teaspoon ground cloves
– Optional spices: 1 whole nutmeg, 1 star anise, 1 teaspoon allspice berries, and/or 4 whole black peppercorns
– 1 gallon (16 cups) water filtered if possible
– 1/2 cup pure maple syrup or packed dark brown sugar, plus additional to taste
– 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
– Apple slices and cinnamon sticks for serving
– Bourbon or rum optional for serving; use 2 tablespoons per drink