Cocktail of the Week: Cranapple Cider Cocktail

2014-10-26 20.27.38

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.

2014-10-26 20.25.28

 

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: Black Adder

2014-07-20 19.08.55

I had some hard cider left over from last week’s cocktail and some stout that’s been in the fridge for a bit… So, I did some poking around and found a cocktail, or maybe a  shandy, that combines those two things. What I found was the Black Adder. Now, I know what you’re thinking, “that’s not a Black Adder! It’s a black and tan!” Well, no it isn’t. It also isn’t a Black Velvet, though it might be a Snake Bite. So, join me now as we gone on a little journey explaining some terms! A Black Velvet is a stout beer, usually Guinness, with sparkling wine floated on top of it. A black and tan is pale ale or lager with a  stout or porter beer floated on top of it. A Snake Bite, in the UK, is equal parts lager and cider. In the USA stout may be used instead of lager.

A Black Adder is specifically stout with cider floated on top of it. I really tried hard to make one of these! I used a spoon. I didn’t use a spoon. I tried to float the cider on top of the stout AND to float the stout on top of the cider. I couldn’t get anything to work. Though I did end up getting pretty tipsy. This might be because I wasn’t using Guinness or it might simple be because I’m just no good at it. Some people have called what you see above you, where the stout and the cider have mixed a Poor Man’s Black Velvet. I just call it failure.

The ingredients
The ingredients

Black Adder

  • 1 part stout
  • 1 part cider

Pour stout into a Champagne flute until half full. Fill the remainder of the flute glass with cider, slowly pouring the cider over a spoon held in the mouth of the flute glass.

2014-07-20 19.08.46

If by some miracle you’re able to pull it off you’d see a almost clear, lightly straw colored liquid sitting on top of your dark stout. If you didn’t pull it off you’ll see what these pictures show. Regardless it tastes pretty good. The bitterness of the stout is offset by the sweetness of the cider and the drink will be a lot lighter than if you were merely drinking stout. Refreshing but I don’t know if it qualifies as a “summer” drink. Good for semi-formal events and parties though? I think in the end I’d just prefer to drink the cider or the stout on its own.

Cocktail of the Week: Stone Fence

2014-07-15 20.23.37

I was listening to Mother Jones’ Inquiring Minds podcast last week and they had Amy Stewart on the show to talk about the science of turning plants into alcohol. A topic I was sure to be interested in. The podcast also happened to be released/recorded during the Fourth of July holiday weekend and so the topic of what the first “Americans” drank came up. Amy mentioned that both whiskey and cider, the hard variety, were very common and very popular with American colonialists. She then mentioned a drink that would be called a “cocktail” today, the Stone Fence. She described it as a mix of hard apple cider with rye whiskey or rum and that it was very popular. This was enough of a hook to get me digging!

2014-07-15 20.17.10
the ingredients

 Stone Fence

  • 2 oz. rye whiskey, whiskey, rum, or brandy
  • Angostura bitters
  • Hard apple cider
  • mint spring or lemon wedge (optional)

Pour spirits into a highball or Collins glass, add a dash of bitters, top with ice and fill to the brim with cider. Stir, garnish with mint sprig or lemon wedge.

2014-07-15 20.24.02

With the amount of cider and ice you’ll be putting into this drink the spirit is going to be subtle. My first impressions were that this drink was an odd and very dry champagne. Not a bad thing at all, but not really what I expect from a cocktail either.  Subtle would be the best one word description for the drink. The crisp dryness of the cider followed up with the soft aftertaste of bourbon. I didn’t think twice about finishing this cocktail in two or three swigs. But here I am 30 minutes or so later and I’m feeling it. Either I’m more dehydrated than I realize or this drink masks the hard alcohol phenomenally well. This cocktail  reminds me of a Dark and Stormy or a Moscow Mule without any of the kick or punch that the ginger beer gives those drinks. That’s not a bad thing, just different.