Cocktail of the Week: Cranapple Cider Cocktail

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Expect to see a lot of apple cocktails in the coming weeks as we move further into fall. Good guesses for other themed cocktails this fall would include:  pumpkin, pomegranates, cinnamon, and spice. I apologize now for using the atrocious portmanteau, cranapple, but cranberry apple cider cocktail is even more of a mouthful and so beauty concedes to brevity.

The ingredients

The ingredients

Cranapple Cider Cocktail

  • 2 oz. cranberry juice
  • 1 oz. fresh orange juice
  • 1 oz. vodka
  • 1 bottle chilled hard cider

Fill glass and cocktail shaker with ice. Add cranberry juice, orange juice and vodka to shaker and shake until chilled. Strain into glass. Top off with hard cider and garnish with apple slice.

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This looked so good when I first heard of it and I double-checked to make sure it called for just cranberry juice (most cranberry juices are a mix of grape, apple, and cranberry concentrate, with the cranberry making up the smallest portion). It did. But, and this has been my experience every time a cocktail has called for actual cranberry juice, the cranberry flavor ends up overwhelming everything else in the cocktail.

The Cranapple had the sour tart of cranberry and not much else. The cider I used (Crispin) is a particularly strong variety but then only thing from it I could discern in the drink was the carbonation. In the future I’ll reduce the amount of cranberry juice and increase the amount of orange juice. I might not shake it either but try to layer the liquids into the glass.

Not a bad cocktail, especially if you like cranberries. I was just a little disappointed.

Cocktail of the Week: Bourbon Apple Cider

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That crisp coolness is finally in the air and I’m finally comfortable enough saying that Autumn is here. Autumn means apples, pumpkins, and long evenings on the couch sipping tea or a nice hot cocktail.

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The ingredients

Bourbon Apple Cider

  • 5 oz apple cider
  • 2 oz bourbon
  • 1 apple, thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp. honey
  • 1/8 tsp cinnamon

In a sauce pot combine cider, apple slices, honey and cinnamon, bring contents to a boil and then simmer for five minutes.  Strain mixture (save apple slices for garnish) and add bourbon. Pour into glasses, garnish with apple slices. Serve warm.

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This reminds me a lot of the Honey Bourbon Toddy, and why shouldn’t it? Both are hot drinks and share the majority of their ingredients. Where the Toddy has water this has apple cider but other than that, and lemon juice, the two drink are almost identical. This is certainly a drink you want to sip, the bourbon is very noticeable with a nice apple crisp taste as it rolls down your throat. Sit down, relax, sip from this drink and let the season sink into you as you sink into it.

Cocktail of the Week: Apple Thyme

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It’s supposed to be fall right now, the produce department of our local Co-op certainly reflects the change of the season even if the weather outside stubbornly refuses to. I’m looking at you 95° weekend weather! With the transition to fall I’ve got to say goodbye to all the chilled drinks full of citrus and fruit! That’s okay though, because I’m looking forward to some hot drinks.

This cocktail was inspired by one D saw over on another blog (here), that called for a homemade brandy and quite a bit of alcohol in it. I took the recipe and tweaked it a little bit and ended up with a delicious cocktail with an herbal undercurrent, that wouldn’t knock D out. I replaced the brandy with applejack and balanced out the proportions.

The ingredients

The ingredients

Apple Thyme

  • 1 oz bourbon
  • 1 oz applejack
  • 1 oz thyme simple syrup
  • 1/2 – 1 oz lemon juice

Combine ingredients into an ice filled shaker. Shake vigorously. Strain onto ice in a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with apple slice and thyme twig.

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I didn’t have any expectations with this cocktail. I’d never considered using bourbon and applejack together and I’d never thought to infuse simple syrup with thyme. It turned out really well though! The lemon and thyme go together quite well and blend wonderfully with the bourbon and applejack. Depending on how much lemon juice you have a flavor that goes anywhere from an apple-y bourbon with hints of lime, and thyme to a whiskey sour with hints of apple. I heartily recommend this for relaxing on a cool fall evening.

Cocktail of the Week: Honeydew Margarita

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Have you noticed anything different at your local grocery store? Specifically, in the produce aisle? Most of the stone fruit is gone, as is the citrus, and there are now a lot of apples and pears and if you were lucky for about a two-three week span the place was overrun with melons. So many melons! Watermelons, cantaloupes, honeydews, casabas, muskmelons! We have a friend who had been growing their own melons in a private garden plot and had more than he could handle himself and so gifted us some. More than we could normally eat before they went bad and so D and I went looking for alternative uses for melons. Cocktails immediately came to mind, and that is how this post ended up here today.

The ingredients

The ingredients

Honeydew Margarita

  • 2 ounces honeydew juice
  • 1 1/2 oz tequila
  • 1 oz fresh lime juice

Combine ingredients in a shaker with ice and shake. Strain over ice into glasses with either a salt or sugar rim (I used a mixture of sugar and chili powder to rim these glasses.)

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Wow! Wow! Wow! I’m a big fan of honeydew on it’s own but mix it with some tequila and lime juice and you’ve got yourself an amazing cocktail. The Honeydew takes center stage making the margarita sweet with only a hint of sour provided by the lime and almost no alcohol taste. Really refreshing. I’m sad I only found out about these now as there won’t be any melons in the fall or winter and margaritas aren’t really seasonal or appropriate again until spring… If you do happen to find a honeydew in the supermarket in the next couple of days though, grab it!