Cozy up with a great winter beverage

Spiced Beverages

by Brenda Hyde

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It seems like the coming of autumn brings on the open houses, parties and a surge of entertaining. Whether you are entertaining guests or visiting someone's home, you can make these wonderful beverages using herbs and spices from your kitchen. The smell is heavenly and the taste is even better!

This first one is great to have on hand for the kids after school or a surprise guest when you don't have time to make a more elaborate drink.

Spicy Orange Cider


1 Tablespoon orange flavored breakfast drink
dash ground cinnamon
dash ground nutmeg
2/3 cup hot apple cider or juice
1 lemon slice

In a heat proof mug stir together drink powder and spices. Add the hot cider and stir well. Float the lemon slice on top. This makes one serving, so fix per cup!

Autumn Punch


3 quarts cider
3 cups pineapple juice
1 can frozen orange juice (6 ounces)
A 6 inch cinnamon stick, broken into pieces
1 tsp. whole cloves
2 liters of ginger ale

Combine all ingredients except the ginger ale. Heat to boiling. Simmer 15-20 minutes and remove from heat. Cool. Add ginger ale. Float the orange slices on top of the punch.

Hot Cranberry Citrus Punch

1 cup sugar
1 cup water
12 whole cloves
2 sticks of cinnamon (2 inches long)
3 quarts orange juice (can use 2 cans frozen)
1 quart cranberry cocktail
3 oranges
extra cloves

Stud the oranges with several cloves and place in a baking dish. Bake at 325 degrees for 3 hours. Meanwhile, mix the sugar, water, 12 cloves and cinnamon in a pan and heat. Remove the spices. When the oranges are almost done, add the juices and heat through. Pour into a punch bowl and add the oranges with any juices from the pan. You can heat in a crockpot as well.

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Apple Cider Tea


1 1/2 cups brewed black tea
1 1/2 cups apple cider
2 tablespoons honey
2 orange slices
1 small cinnamon stick
1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg

Simmer all but the tea for ten minutes. Add the tea and serve with the orange slices. Makes 3 cups. Easily doubles.

Hot Spiced Wine


2 tsp. allspice, whole
3/4 cup grated lemon peel
3" long cinnamon stick
1 bottle burgundy wine (3 cups)
3/4 cup raisins
1/2 cup sugar

Tie the spices in a square of cheesecloth with kitchen string or tear a little piece of the cheesecloth to use as a tie. Mix all ingredients together and simmer until heated through. Remove raisins and spices before serving.

Brenda Hyde is a wife, mom to three and freelance writer. For more old fashioned recipes, crafts and gardening visit her at

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