Meet the Cook: Here in the High Sierras, my husband and I operate a small bed and breakfast inn. I like serving this drink to winter guests as they warm up in front of our stone fireplace - it's a favorite with everyone for its heavenly scent! It's also a standby when we host local groups, who frequently meet at our place.
I learned to cook from my mother. I have been at it since I was a girl. My husband and I have six grown children and a total of 11 grandchildren.
-Marlene Cartwright, Sierra City, California
Adding colorful appeal to a wintertime meal is a easy—just turn to this tasty cider Anna Mary Beiler developed in her strasburg, Pennsylvania kitchen. "The cranberry juice gives it lots of flavor, too," she confirms.—Anna Mary Beiler, Strasburg, Pennsylvania
“When our children were younger, I always made warm cider for Christmas Eve. This herbal version was a favorite. The kids are grown, but my husband and I still enjoy a mug or two during the holidays for old time’s sake.” —Sue Gronholz, Beaver Dam, Wisconsin
Welcome guests with the inviting aroma of this warm beverage. I served this spiced cider at a cookie exchange and received so many compliments. Everyone enjoyed the subtle peach flavor. —Rose Harman, Hays, Kansas
Red-hot candies add a little spice to this rosy beverage that's perfect for holiday buffets or winter potlucks. Serve it hot or cold. At 28 cents a serving, it's inexpensive, too. —Ruth Hastings, Louisville, Illinois
I first concocted this beverage years ago for my son on a chilly fall New England day. Now he's grown and in the Navy, but he still enjoys this tangy cider whenever he's home for a visit.—Debbie Terenzini-Wilkerson, Lusby, Maryland
This fruity beverage is great all year-round, and tasty hot or chilled. I got the recipe from a co-worker and made it one Christmas for a family gathering. Now whenever we get together for the holidays, I'm the designated wassail-maker.
This lovely rosy drink, with its appealing fresh fruit flavor, is not too sweet or too tart. I sometimes serve this hot beverage at Christmas or at brunch gatherings as an alternative to coffee, tea or cold juice.
-Shari Donaldson, Cummings, Kansas
Dried apricots give this comforting cider a friendly taste twist. Cranberries, cinnamon, allspice and cloves make it a perfect way to chase away the chill from cool nights.—Ginnie Busam, Pewee Valley, Kentucky
If you love apple pie, this tasty beverage was created just for you. The ice cream batter gives the sweet cider a smooth creamy texture. Make it an adult drink by stirring in a little brandy. —Connie Young, Pony, Montana