Of course we recommend using our award-winning cider in any drink recipe, but apple butter works too! Check out this recipe from our friends at Sweet Earth Organic Farm:

Renee‘s Delicious Kale & Apple Butter Smoothie

Start with one big bunch of kale. Remove kale leaves from stem and fill blender (leaves take up a lot of space but once you begin blending, they will blend nicely).

1 very ripe medium size banana (break into chunks)
1-2 Tbs Lemon Juice
~1/4 cup Earth First Farms Apple Butter

Cover with whole milk (or if you don’t do dairy – you might try just ice or soy milk).

Blend well and enjoy!

Hot Mulled Cider

Recipe from “Cider, Hard and Sweet” by Ben Watson.

This is the classic spicy, warming drink for late-fall and winter festivities. Mulled cider mixes are available, both as bulk spices and in tea bags, but it’s fun and easy to make your own. Feel free to experiment and vary the spices according to your own taste.

½ gallon sweet cider
4-6 cinnamon sticks
6 cardamom pods, crushed
1 whole nutmeg, cracked open
10-12 whole cloves
6 allspice berries (optional)
4-6 star anise pods (optional)
Zest of ½ lemon or ½ orange, cut into thin strips
Orange slices for garnish

Put the cider, spices, and lemon zest in a large, nonreactive pot and bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce the heat and simmer gently for 15 minutes. Line a colander with a square of cheesecloth and pour the hot cider into another pot or large bowl, straining out the spices. Return the mulled cider to the pot over very low heat. Add the orange slices and serve hot.

Some people add about 1½ cups of rum or brandy to the mulled cider after straining, then return it to boil before reducing the heat. I prefer the nonalcoholic kind, but by all means try it both ways.

Serves: 8 to 10

Cider Wassail Bowl

Recipe from “Cider, Hard and Sweet” by Ben Watson.

The word wassail derives from the old Anglo-Saxon toast, Waes haeil, meaning “Be whole” [well]. It’s like saying “To your health,” and it gave its name to the custom that took place throughout Britain around Christmastime, when revelers carried a wassail bowl made of ash or maple and festooned with ribbons from house to house, expecting the bowl to be filled with refreshments and in turn blessing the occupants. The traditional wassail punch is make from ale and sherry, sugar and spices, and topped with toasts roasted apples.

Wassailing the apple tree is an old Twelfth Night ritual, too, and so it seems only fitting to include a recipe for a cider-based wassail cup.

½ gallon sweet cider
½ cup dark brown sugar
10-15 whole cloves
2 cinnamon sticks
1 whole nutmeg, cracked in half
Pinch of salt
1 cup dark rum
¼ cup Calvados or other apple brandy (optional)
1 lemon, halved and sliced thin
4-6 squares toasted bread (optional)
4-6 small roasted apples (optional)
Whipped cream (optional)

In a large, nonreactive kettle, mix the cider and sugar. Tie up the spices in a square of cheesecloth and add to the pot along with the salt. Bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from the heat. Remove the spice bag and add the rum (and optional apple brandy) and the lemon and orange slices. Place over medium heat and stir for 2-3 minutes. Garnish with the toasts and roasted apples if desired, or pass a bowl of sweetened whipped cream to add in dollops to the individual cups, along with the grating of fresh nutmeg. Yield: 15-20 servings