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Curling up with a good book and a cup of hot cider on a chilly afternoon is the kind of activity that makes cold weather (almost) welcome. This version is spicier than most and will really warm you to the bone.
1. Rinse and squeeze out a 12-inch square of cheesecloth. Wrap the ginger, star anise, cinnamon, cloves, fennel seed, and Sichuan peppercorns in the cheesecloth. Using a piece of kitchen twine, tie it into a packet.
2. Pour the cider in a large nonreactive saucepan and add the spice bundle. Bring to a simmer over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally.
3. Ladle the cider into warmed mugs. Add a dry cinnamon stick to each mug, and spike with Calvados. Top each with a pat of butter. Serve hot.
Nutritional information does not include the Calvados or applejack, for serving.
Nutrients per serving (% daily value)