While I was out shopping for last minute Halloween decorations, I saw a neat little bottle for sale that read “Spooky Spider Cider” on the label. I loved the look and brought it home to accessorize my Halloween centerpiece. I also liked the idea of a real Spooky Spider Cider to serve as an after dinner drink on Halloween, when you need something hot to warm up with after trick-or-treating in the chilly fall air.
My homemade Spooky Spider Cider isn’t really all that scary. It’s a spiced apple cider that is topped with whipped cream and spider sprinkles, which I found at a local Michael’s in the cake decorating aisle. The spiders are completely edible and they add just the right amount of “trick” to this Halloween treat. If you can’t find the sprinkles, you can use chocolate jimmies/sprinkles to simulate creepy crawlies on top of your whipped cream, or you could even garnish your mug with a little plastic spider. Spiders aside, this sweet and spicy cider has the flavors of brown sugar, cinnamon, cloves and star anise that will warm you right up on first sip.
Start with a good quality apple cider as the base for the best results. I always try to use unfiltered apple cider (not just apple juice) and get it as close to natural (no added sugars) as possible. The cider can be served immediately or prepared in advance and reheated when you are ready to serve it.
Spooky Spider Cider
4 cups unfiltered apple cider
4 tbsp brown sugar
3 cinnamon sticks
10 whole cloves
3 whole star anise (or to taste)
whipped cream, to serve
spider-shaped sprinkles, for garnish
Combine all ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a simmer, stirring just to dissolve the brown sugar. Remove from heat and cover the pan, allowing the spices to steep for 20-30 minutes. Strain out the spices and reheat.
Top with whipped cream and spider shaped sprinkes to serve.