Fig & bay-leaf apple cider ─ a twist to the apple cider

It’s that time of year again. Leaves are colorful and vibrant, the air is crisp, and everyone seems to be sipping on a pumpkin spice beverage. It’s Fall, after all!

With the months approaching, it’s a perfect time to start planning your holiday menu. Whether you’re staying in or going out to share those special days with family and friends, you might have the urge to prepare something tasty. Of course, there’s the classic cuisine we look forward to throughout the year, but what about something new to spice things up? Maybe a tasty drink that will be sure to boost the holiday cheer!

One taste of fig and bay leaf apple cider will warm you right up, even on a chilly night spent sitting by a fire. Besides the main ingredients - figs, bay leaf, and apples - you’ll only need to add yeast. To keep things simple, you can use apple juice for the apple component of your cider. It’s best to choose a quality, 100% natural juice or non-alcoholic cider for this recipe

If you prefer a sweeter, cleaner taste, filtered apple juice will do the trick. Apple cider is an excellent choice for those that enjoy an earthier and more robust flavor. So, now let’s talk figs. Even if you’ve never tried this fruit before, you might turn into a fig fanatic after tasting this cider. They’re truly unique with subtle berry tones and a mild, honey-like sweetness.

Fresh figs can be hard to find since they’re only available during two short periods of the year. Dried figs will work perfectly for this cider recipe, and are available year-round in most grocery stores. This apple and fig combination practically screams Fall. But, you’ll need one last thing - bay leaf! Not only will this simple addition create an extra layer of flavor to your cider, but it will blend and bring it all together. Bay leaves are a staple ingredient in many recipes. You will typically find them dried, but fresh leaves are available in some stores as well. Either one will give your cider a nice touch of spice, fragrance, and complexity.

Use the Alchema app to follow along with quick and effortless step-by-step instructions for making your cider. The app will do all of the measurings for you and tell you exactly how much of each ingredient you’ve added as you go. The fermentation time for this recipe is five days.

You’ll notice that your finished cider is heavier than standard apple cider since bay leaf and figs give it more body. The natural sugars released from the fruit bring forward a sweetness from the figs that perfectly complements the tart apple tones. Bay leaf adds a subtle woody flavor to this cider which makes it a cozy drink to enjoy throughout the colder days of fall and winter.

Serve your fig and bay leaf apple cider chilled, but without ice, since it will dilute your beverage and take away from its depth. Try holding the cider on your tongue for a few seconds to experience the texture of the residual sugar on top of the perfect balance of fruit and spice. This rich and flavorful drink pairs exceptionally well with a simple snack like Rold Gold pretzels since they also have a woody taste. The salt from the pretzels mingles with the sweetness from the apple cider, which will provide you with an explosion of flavors.

Let someone else bring the pumpkin pie and green bean casserole to the holiday celebrations this year. Trade traditional for sensational and bring some tasty fig and bay leaf apple cider that is sure to be a hit. Who knows, this may become your go-to drink for turning up the heat and curing your cold weather blues!

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