‘Tis the season for dining hall apples.

Everyone craves apple cider. It’s the epitome of a fall drink: warm, spicy, sweet, and welcoming. But rather than go to Starbucks for a 5-dollar cider or wait until Sunday or Thursday to enjoy a cup at the farmer’s market, you can just make it yourself. 

When my floormates and I started craving it, we did just that. It took five people and a lot of dining hall trips to execute it (we got enough apples in a day.) The process itself took about four hours from start to finish (this includes cutting up the apples to pouring out the first cup.) It was an extremely simple process; the only thing that took a long time was straining everything, but that could be fixed with a bigger strainer. All of the supplies (pot and fine mesh strainer) were found at our very own University Hardware Housewares.

Ultimately, despite this being a recipe, you can decide how you want it to taste. Next time I’m going to experiment with adding more spices, but this is a good starting point. This recipe has a mild cinnamon taste with a strong, sweet apple taste. However you imagine apple spice to be is how you should make it. Also, I am repeating this again, unless you went apple picking and need to use a bunch of apples, just take them from the dining hall. They aren’t going to waste and you’re getting more bang for your buck. Additionally, during the straining step of this recipe, you can decide to keep the strained bits––it makes good applesauce.


  • 1 peeled and divided John Jay orange
  • 10 medium apples (green and red––though if you’re using the dining hall red apples you might need to double the amount ratio)
  • 1 Tablespoon of ground cinnamon–courtesy of Liz’s Place
  • Dash of nutmeg–also from Liz’s Place
  • ½ cup of granulated sugar––I had some of my own but you can use dining hall sugar packets, also this is to taste so you can add as much or as little as you’d like


Disclaimer: Wash everything before use

  1. Cut the apples into quarters and place them into the pot with the orange, cinnamon, nutmeg, and sugar. Cover apples with water.
  2. Bring water to a simmer on high heat. Once simmering, cover and turn heat to low, and wait two hours. You can be productive in those two hours or do what I did and go to a club meeting that you’re not in.
  3. After two hours, mash all of the apples with a spoon and let them cook for one more hour, covered.
  4. Strain all of the solids out of the cider. Personally, next time I’m getting a bigger sieve. This sieve took way too long to strain out anything. 
  5. Serve with dining hall cups.

Images via Author