I started this cider in November in hopes that it would be ready to enjoy over the Christmas Holidays. For whatever reason I didn’t get it done in time for Christmas. Christmas is always crazy with so much going on, or at least, that’s the excuse I’m using. However, nothing screams winter quite like orange or cranberry flavoured things, right? I combined the two and created a super wintery drink to help pass the winter time blues. Unfortunately for me, winter never really showed up this year. It's been extremely mild with very little snow. Everyone around me has enjoyed this, and if I'm honest, I have too, but just a little bit. I was looking forward to winter this year because I wanted to do so many fun wintery things. It's left me disillusioned and bitter at Old Man Winter. Here's why,
1. I recently got a new position working with foster children. I love it, it’s the best job I’ve ever had. I have the unique privilege to take these kids on fun excursions. I was looking forward to tobogganing and skiing with them, which, for many of them they've never had the opportunity to do. Needless to say it didn't happen because winter didn’t freaking show up until February 16.
2. Every winter a group of my friends and I go to a cottage for a weekend. We play pond hockey, drink beer/cider, and generally have a relaxing fun weekend. What were we able to do this year? Play hockey? Nope. Why? Because the ice on the lake was 2 inches thick and wouldn’t hold up a two frolicking squirrels. What the hell Jack Frost? What the hell?
3. As I write I don’t have any of this cider left to drink. Which is disappointing because I normally have one while I write about it (I swear it’s for practical reasons.) And now I can’t do that because to fill the whole left in my heart by Winters absence I tried filling it with cider. Unfortunately, as I discovered, no amount of orange cranberry cider can fill that void. All it can do is make you feel numb like extreme cold numbs your extremities.
This winter has been disappointing. I was looking forward to pond hockey, skiing, and generally just enjoying winter fun. The best I got was this cider, which, I guess, isn’t so bad. It tasted like winter and I should be happy with that because at least I only had to shovel my driveway once. On the bright side, Spring is coming. Hmmm, strawberry peppercorn cider, creamsicle cream ale, minted stout?
Cranberry Orange Cider
5 Gallon Carboy
1 Medium Sized Sauce Pan
1 Stainless Still Spoon
1 Large Funnel
Star San Sanitization Solution
6 Litres of Cranberry Juice
14 Litres of Apple Juice
3 Cans of Frozen Apple Juice Concentrate
1 Package of Nottingham Ale Yeast
Rind of 1 large Orange Chopped and blanched
Juice of 1 Orange
1 Cup Sugar
1 Cup Water
In a 6 Gallon Carboy pour in Apple Juice and Cranberry Juice. Pitch yeast and let ferment for 2 weeks.
In a medium sauce pan mix orange juice, zest, water and sugar together and bring to a simmer. Cook until zest is translucent, making sure that the syrup doesn’t get too thick or caramelize. Once zest is translucent take off heat and cool to room temperature.
Rack Cider into secondary and add the orange zest syrup to cider. Ferment for another 2 weeks.
After this 2 week period its time to bottle. Rack cider into bottling bucket and add 3 cans of frozen apple juice concentrate. Mix well and bottle. Let carbonate for 2-4 days or however long it takes. To ensure you have reached your desired carbonation use a plastic pop bottle. When the cider is ready the pop bottle will be firm like pop is before you break the seal. Place into fridge immediately or pasteurize.
Cool and Enjoy