There's no doubt about it, folks, there's a definite chill in the air. Yes, we're still not even half way through the month of August, but don't you already feel autumnal? Slowly but surely, the scarves are creeping out from the depths of our wardrobes, the open toed sandals are being pushed to one side in favour of something that'll keep our tootsies nice and toasty and we no longer have the fans on full blast in the office.
But fear not, those who dread the change in the weather. Autumn brings with it lots of wonderful treats, both sartorial and gastronomical. Last week we got all excited over Penneys delectable new line for A/W 14 while this week, we're looking at how our bellies may benefit.
This weekend just gone, I spent most of my Sunday cooking (well, experimenting) up a storm in the kitchen. Homemade granola, pudding, belly-rumbling roast chickens. But what really filled the house with such seasonal scents was the spiced apple cider. Oh momma, it's good.
If you've spent time in London or NYC during the colder months of the year, you'll probably have enjoyed a cup of hot spiced apple cider. It. Is. The business. But I've never come across it in a coffee shop or even at a market over here in Ireland. WHY? It's the single most tastiest, heartwarming hot drink you could sip. And we don't have to feel a bit guilty about it; it's just apples and spices. No baddies.
Frustrated and absolutely gagging for the chance to recreate my Soho memories, I set about making my own. And it worked! Below you'll find the super easy method and ingredients. It only takes all of about three minutes and once you have a sip of this, you'll wonder why you ever wanted to see the back of winter in the first place.
1. Generous mug per person of Apple Juice - Either juice your own, if you're being extra good, or try to buy something that promises 100% apple juice and no added crap.
2. 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
3. 1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg (nutmeg is a little stronger than cinnamon so add a little and then taste if you want to add more)
4. Spiced rum (I didn't bother with this first time round but if you really want a fire in your belly, this'll do the trick)
Apple slices and cinnamon sticks - just to garnish. Again, not entirely necessary.
Simply pour all of your apple juice into a small pan, add in the spices and heat gently, stirring occasionally. Then, and this is where it gets difficult (not really), pour your heavenly autumnal drink into your big fat mugs.
Caroline Foran @CarolineForan