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9 Great Uses for Apple Cider (Other Than Gulping It Down)

food, 9 great uses for apple cider (other than gulping it down)

At this time of year, apple cider becomes a go-to beverage for just about everyone I know. It’s available at apple orchards, farmers markets, and grocery stores alike. And while I’ve always been happy to drink it cold and straight to wash down an apple cider doughnut, there’s actually a lot you can do with apple cider that isn’t just “drink it out of the jug.”

food, 9 great uses for apple cider (other than gulping it down)

Serve cider warm and spiced

Warm, spiced apple cider is a delightful way to take something that was already good and make it a new thing that’s even better. This recipe for mulled cider adds cinnamon sticks, ground cloves, allspice berries, orange and lemon peel, and maple syrup to an apple cider (or unfiltered apple juice) base. The result is a mug of something special you can wrap your hands around and sip by the fire while leaves fall outside the window. Ah, fall.

food, 9 great uses for apple cider (other than gulping it down)

Make cider cocktails

Apple cider finds its way into plenty of cocktails, from mimosas to margaritas and everything in between. My personal favorite is to make a warm drink using warmed apple cider, some spiced rum, and some fall spices. This apple cider hot toddy recipe is similar but includes lemon juice and bourbon. If you’re feeling adventurous, you could even make these apple cider jelly shots, which use ginger-flavored vodka and apple cider to create a warm, spicy fall flavor.

food, 9 great uses for apple cider (other than gulping it down)

Use cider to make apple butter

Enough about drinking apple cider—you can incorporate it into things you eat, too. Apple butter, or spreadable apple, is a great way to use up some of those apples you picked at the orchard, and a lot of apple butter recipes use apple cider in the mix, such as this one. Practically speaking, using apple cider as the liquid here only stands to enhance the apple flavor profile of the finished product. Yes, please.

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Apple Cider Doughnuts

I live in the northeast, and here, apple cider doughnuts are an absolute staple of fall. They are almost always still warm when you get them, because apple orchards go through so many in a day that they have to continuously bake them. They’re almost always handed to you in a white paper bag, and at least in my family, we finish them before we’ve even left the orchard. If you don’t have an orchard near you, though, or if you just like to bake amazing things, you can either fry or bake your own apple cider doughnuts. A key ingredient? You guessed it: orange juice! Just kidding. It’s apple cider.

food, 9 great uses for apple cider (other than gulping it down)

Make other apple-themed baked goods

Because apple cider is unfiltered and has a strong, tangy flavor, it enhances all sorts of baked goods, not just doughnuts. I’ve come across recipes for apple cider cream pie, apple cider bread, apple cider cake, and apple cider cookies—and of course, the internet has plenty more where those came from.

food, 9 great uses for apple cider (other than gulping it down)

Pair apple cider with poultry

Apple cider isn’t just for sweet stuff. It can pair really well with savory meats and poultry, especially when it’s mingling with onions and other vegetables. In this recipe for apple cider chicken, the apple cider joins apples, garlic, and onions to make a sweet and savory topping.

food, 9 great uses for apple cider (other than gulping it down)

Slow cook pork in apple cider

Apple cider can make a good sauce, but it can also make an amazing braising liquid. In this recipe for apple cider pork pot roast, pork is slow cooked in apple cider for several hours, rendering it moist and apple-kissed. Yes, yes, yes.

food, 9 great uses for apple cider (other than gulping it down)

Braise cabbage in cider

Apple cider can contribute to side dishes, too. I’ve used apple cider in a range of sweet and sour recipes, such as this apple cider braised cabbage, which would make a great side dish for apple cider chicken or apple cider pork.

food, 9 great uses for apple cider (other than gulping it down)

Let’s end with cheese, because cheese is the best

Apple cider fondue. Yes? Good. This recipe uses a mix of cheddar and Swiss cheese, which then joins apple cider (or apple juice) to create a gooey, delicious, fall-forward fondue. Pair this fragrant concoction with sliced sausages, apples, bread, pretzels, and whatever other fall wonders you might want to dip in it. What about you? What is your favorite way to use apple cider, other than gulping it down straight from the container?

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