During the winter season when cold weather is upon us and we’re expecting guests, it’s enticing to have the aroma of apple cider and yummy spices fill our home. This recipe comes from my childhood. Feel free to adjust the amount of juices, cider, and/or spices in this recipe. It’s a recipe that should be used as a beginning point, letting you put your personal touches in it.

3 large lemons
3 oranges
¾ tsp. whole allspices
3 sticks cinnamon
1 ½ qts. cold water
1 – 1 ½ C. sugar
1 gal. apple cider

Rinse off the lemons and oranges with water before cutting them in half. Extract the juices from the lemons and oranges. Set the juices aside. Place the leftover lemon and orange rinds, whole allspices, and cinnamon sticks in cold water in a pan. Bring the water to boil and simmer an hour. Strain the liquid and then put the heated mixture back into the pan. Next add 1 cup sugar, the cider, and fruit juices to the mixture. Blend the mixture; then taste. Add more sugar, if needed. Heat again. Serve hot.