Photo: The Grovers
If there’s anything more (or equally) basic than pumpkin spice for fall, it’s apple cider. There’s literally nothing better than biting into a warm, sugar-coated apple cider doughnut as soon as it’s seasonally ‘acceptable’ to do so. And really, it doesn’t even have to be.
But with September 30th’s NATIONAL HOT MULLED CIDER DAY in our midst, we figured it’d be the perfect time to get a little festive. Whether you’re entertaining at home, hosting your bestie’s bridal shower or gearing up to get married, if you’re doing it in autumn, it’s all about that apple - so ready up those red, green and golden varieties, sprinkle in those spices, and load up your liquor of choice. It’s about to go down!
Just keep in mind, we’re not playing favorites. Yah, the holiday recognizes HOT mulled cider, but we’ve taken some liberties to include a few chilled options, because not every fall occasion calls for a toasty tipple when the temps aren’t exactly cooperating.
At the end of a long work week, you’re either ready to go HAM or crash on the couch. And we’re no different. But sipping on something sweet can happen in either scenario. So, if you’re corralling the crew for Saturday night (our vote - scary movie marathon, with pjs and a pro-level gourmet popcorn bar, just sayin’) or a more cas’ Sunday Funday, serve some of these up big-batch style. If it’s just you and your boo, then turn it up with tequila or bourbon and have a toast for two! Just be careful with the stove, once you’ve been throwing some back!Stowe Mountain Lodge’s
Bar Manager, Buckley Frisch, recommends a hot buttered apple cider for a game-changing group cocktail. “Lots of liquor flavor profiles change under heat, but I like to use apple brandy because it keeps its flavors regardless of temperature. Using butter as an ingredient adds a full-bodied, well-rounded element that compliments the temperature of the drink.” Um, yum.
Photo: The Grovers
½ Gallon Cold Hollow Apple Cider
2 Full Oranges Sliced Thin
½ Stick of Butter
½ Cup Brown Sugar
10 Cinnamon Sticks
16 oz Apple Brandy
Grate Fresh Nutmeg for Garnish with Microplane
Photo: Tequila Ciudad
1.5 oz Tequila Ciudad Anejo
2 oz. of apple cider
Splash of lemon juice
Splash of Cinnamon Simple Syrup
Photo: The Grovers
4 oz traditional cider
1 ½ oz bourbon
2 star anise
Dash of nutmeg
1 cinnamon stick
½ vanilla pod
Juice of ½ orange
½ oz pomegranate juice
Handful of pomegranate seeds
Dash of caster sugar
In a large pan, over low heat, add cider, spices, and juices until boiling. Turn down heat, add bourbon and let simmer for 2-3 minutes.
Mull it Over cider recipe courtesy of Minibar.
Apple cider mimosas have mmmm all over them, but prosecco need not apply for EVERY bridal shower soiree ((can’t believe we’re saying that!)). Instead, get a strong hostess game going and try out a mojitos mason jars, or greet the girls with a nice mocktail (especially if you have a lot of soon-to-be mommies in attendance, Be Mixed is be-magical). All of these are meant to be tried as a tribe!
4 oz apple cider
3 oz. simple syrup
3 oz. Applejack
4 oz. white rum
In a glass lightly muddle mint and add ice and diced apples. Combine cider, simple syrup, Applejack, and rum in a cocktail shaker, shake, and pour into glass. Garnish with cinnamon sticks and mint.
Photo: Be Mixed
4 oz. Be Mixed Ginger Lime
3 pink lady apples (chopped finely)
5 slices of fresh ginger
½ oz. apple cider vinegar
In a blender combine apples, ginger, Be Mixed and vinegar and puree until smooth. Strain through a fine sieve, pressing of the solids. Fill a cocktail shaker with Ice and fill with half the apple-ginger mixture (If adding liquor, add here). Pour into glass and top with soda water.
Next to hot cocoa bars at winter weddings, an apple cider station is just about as autumnal as they come, according to wedding and special event planners, alike. “Couples are keen on using local, farm-to-fork, "slow" ingredients in their menus, and their cocktail menu is certainly not a place that they are overlooking,” says Amy Shey Jacobs, Founder & Creative Director of NYC-based Chandelier Events. “As the popularity of mixology continues to grow in the wedding season, ciders--from apple to pear -- are becoming the most sought-after base of the season. From berry blends to maple and nutty infusions to spicy accents like tumeric and ginger, fresh-picked ciders are being mixed to the max for hot, warm and crispy cold signature drinks that everyone can enjoy. I'd dare to say this is the next MULE! Plus, for those of us who are gluten-free, the alternative to beer makes for a great nod to Oktoberfest.”
Photo: Jodee Debes
2 oz. Soltado Spicy Añejo Tequila
2 oz. fresh local apple cider
¾ oz. pumpkin spice syrup
2 ½ oz. Shipyard Pumpkin Head Ale (or other pumpkin-flavored beer)
Combine first 3 ingredients in mixing cup with ice, shake to chill, strain into chilled martini glass. Add pumpkin beer. Garnish with fresh apple slice and a dash of nutmeg.
Salt the rim if you wish.
Smashing Pumpkin recipe courtesy of Mixologist Harry Brigham, of The Ram's Head Inn
Photo: The Grovers
1 cup Grey Goose L’Orange (orange-flavored vodka)
½ cup orange brandy|
½ cup honey
¾ cup hot water
½ cup fresh lemon juice
½ cup orange juice
Pinch star anise powder
Apple Wedges for Garnish
Cinnamon Sticks for Garnish
Combine the honey and hot water in a shaker, stir to dissolve honey. Add remaining ingredients and stir well. Strain into glass, and garnish with apples and cinnamon sticks.
Warm Harvest Mulled Cider recipe courtesy of Andrea Correale, Celebrity Caterer, CEO and President of Elegant Affairs.