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: Black Adder

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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.

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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.