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I.  Love.  Caramel.  Hard, soft, melted, drizzled.  Any way I can get my hands on it.   I just love it.  During the holiday season, a popular coffee shop chain offers a delicious Spiced Caramel Apple drink (I’m sure you know which one I’m talking about!).  It quickly got added to my list of favorites! I had to recreate it at home!

I love the flavors of Fall.  Cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, cloves – the Fall Flavor Quartet!  It seems no matter what you make this time of year those spices seem to find their way into the recipe and makes you just think of Fall. Each has its own distinct flavor profile and each in their own individual way greatly enhances just about almost any Fall/Winter dish.   I love their earthiness, their depth of flavor, the way each of them contributes a unique flavor profile to the dish.  You can make apple pie without the nutmeg, but it doesn’t taste the same.  You can skip the cinnamon and it’s just missing that something special.  These flavors combined really play a role in making a dish truly memorable!

While I am not a huge fan of clove or allspice (I like them – I just find their flavors extremely strong and overpowering), I do love cinnamon and nutmeg.  When I decided I was going to try to recreate this drink at home, I decided to add a bit of kick to it.  I love spice and a hint of cayenne really does the trick in giving this delicious drink a little punch.  Not too much though because it will destroy the flavor and will make the drink unpleasant.

I decided to stick with the flavors I like best and since it was Apple Cider – I was trying to basically create a caramel apple pie in a drink.  I think I succeeded!  I have a Keurig (I LOVE that thing!) and I used the pre-packaged drink packets to make hot apple cider.  With the addition of cinnamon and nutmeg and a bit of caramel syrup, this was a delicious warm hug on a cold day!

Enjoy!

Spiced Caramel Apple Cider

1 packet Spiced Apple Cider mix
2 Tbsp. caramel syrup
Couple of pinches of cinnamon and nutmeg
Cayenne Pepper
Whipped Cream

  1. In the bottom of a large mug, put the caramel syrup, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
  2. Add apple cider packet to the mug.
  3. Add hot water and mix well.
  4. Top off with whipped cream and a very light sprinkle of cayenne pepper.
  5. Sprinkle with more cinnamon if desired.

*For an extra treat, add a little dark rum or bourbon!

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