Friday, September 21, 2012

Sugar-Free "Apple Cider" - #RecipeRedux

Apple cider is going to be pricer than usual, according to the market watchers. As much as I adore a warming, slightly spicy and sweet mug of it in the morning (better than coffee, in my opinion!), it's expensive enough, and no way am I paying double or more for my seasonal fix. Herbal tea is relatively cheap, but can be a little lackluster when you're looking for something as rich, sweet and tangy as mulled cider. I figured that I'd shell out for a cup at the orchard after a round of picking and that would be it.

Then I came across the blog Lexie's Kichen, and particularly this post for a Healing Sugar-Free "Apple Cider". Made with an apple-spice herbal tea, there's no actual apple juice in this at all, but gets sweetness from stevia and tang from raw apple cider vinegar. I figured I'd give it a try - after all, I already had some apple tea hanging around from last Fall and figured I should use it up! It took a few tweaks to get it to my taste, both by using a mix of powdered and liquid stevia as well as adding a dash of fresh lemon juice for a little more of a "rounded" flavour. Because I love caramel apple anything, I added a few drops of the butterscotch flavouring I had on hand to my first cup and was floored by how decadent it was. A sprinkling of cinnamon capped it off perfectly, and with the natural goodness in the vinegar and lemon juice it's also a delicious way to keep the Winter colds at bay too.

This month's Recipe Redux is all about our favourite ways to use fermented foods. Since the full-sour naturally fermented dill pickles I adore I only ever eat au natural, I thought I'd share the new favourite I found in this spicy, sweet and tart beverage.

Sugar-Free "Apple Cider"
Makes about 8 cups
8 cups water
4 apple cinnamon herbal tea bags (President's Choice is what I use and love!)
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar (I used Bragg's Raw Apple Cider Vinegar)
1 1/2 tbsp lemon juice
4 (1 gram) packets powdered stevia extract
3 full droppers liquid stevia, to taste (I used NOW®'s alcohol free stevia glycerite)
1 tsp (1 small bottle) LorAnn's concentrated butterscotch or caramel flavouring
  1. Bring water to a boil and pour over the tea bags in a large jar or pitcher. 
  2. Cover and let steep at room temperature overnight.
  3. Remove the tea bags and stir in the vinegar, lemon juice, stevia powder and liquid and the flavouring.
  4. Reheat gently or serve cold (I like a sprinkle of cinnamon on top).

Not a significant source of calories, fat, cholesterol, sodium, carbs or protein. Approx. 2.2% of the RDA for vitamin C per cup.

Also submitted to Foodie Fridays, Wellness Weekends and Gluten Free Fridays.


  1. So interesting - I'd never think to use apple tea to make "cider" - perfect for fall!

  2. Very cool! Sounds perfect for a day like today! Thanks for linking up at our Gluten Free Fridays party! We had some fabulous entries this week! Our gluten free blogger directory is growing too! I have tweeted and pinned your entry to our Gluten Free Fridays board on Pinterest! :) See you next Friday! Cindy from

  3. This is a great idea! I'll have to try it when the weather gets a little bit cooler


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