Nothing says fall like a warm drink on a crisp day! My very favorite one is strawberry cider (image from bhg.com). The recipe:
8 cups apple cider or apple juice
1 10-oz package frozen sliced strawberries
4" stick cinnamon
1 teaspoon whole cloves
Combine cider or juice, frozen sliced strawberries, the stick cinnamon, and cloves in a large saucepan. Bring to boiling and reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes.
Strain through cheesecloth - I use several clothespins to clip it across the top of the pitcher (make sure it hangs down an inch or so to allow room for it to drain). Depending on the size of your straining device (see comment below about using a funnel!), you may have to rinse it out or discard and get new cheesecloth, paper towel, filter, etc. After it gets to a certain level of gunked up, it doesn't drain very well.
If you'd like, you can garnish cups with apple slices, strawberries, or cinnamon sticks. I can personally attest that this does well in a slow cooker (such as for a party), and if I'm making it just for us, I pour it into the jug the apple cider came in and put it in the refrigerator. (Sometimes I have even used a funnel and strained it right into the jug. When I want a cup, I just pour one and heat it up! It's also pretty tasty at room temperature.
You can also use a colander with a bowl underneath, and you can also use paper towels, a clean tea towel, or even coffee filters (in a colander) but you'll have to pour VERY carefully to keep from dislodging them, and I'd wet them first. The strawberries turn into kind of a sludge, and you don't really want to drink that.
I have tried using plain frozen strawberries and adding sugar, but I didn't do the calculations to see how much sugar was actually in the sweetened strawberries, and I felt like I had to add enough that it just made sense to use the pre-sweetened ones. If you run the numbers and figure it out, let me know. :>)
Cider will go on sale during the fall, and frozen sweetened strawberries go on sale a few times a year. This helps to make this treat more affordable!
Two more recipes that I'd LOVE to try this fall are caramel apple cider and caramel apple cookies. Holy cow, don't they sound GOOD?
For more yummy fall recipes, visit Life As Mom.