When fall falls, it falls hard. It fills our eyes, our noses, and, if we're doing things right, our cocktail glasses.
Apple cider is a seasonal classic, and its can't-beat-it flavor is a perfect match for all sorts of spirits and simple cocktail ingredients. You can make these seven apple cider cocktails with things you probably already have, turning a simple jug of cider into something that will make the whole month of October much more festive.
A traditional Moscow Mule is a classic, reliable in every way and a good way to unwind. But with it's fresh lime juice and other trappings, it's perhaps most enjoyed outside on a summer evening.
In fall, it's a good idea to change things up by adding a few variations to the traditional recipe, creating a twist best enjoyed this time of year: the Harvest Mule. It's supremely tasty, and is best enjoyed next to a roaring fire during the chilly fall weather. Based in whiskey and mixed with cinnamon and cider, the Harvest Mule is easy, and worthwhile, to make.
When we were kids, my sister and I rarely fought...unless it was the holiday season, and there were bottles of sparkling grape juice or apple cider to be slurped! We weren't allowed much soda, so the chance to celebrate the season with something fizzy was always a treat, and cause for fisticuffs!
Having mastered homemade hard apple cider, I've been excited to try it in cooking and mixed into a cocktail. The best, by far, is the classic Snakebite, a blend of lager and cider with a dash of blackcurrant cordial.
A few weeks ago, I posted about my research into brewing hard apple cider at home and on the cheap. I continued to look into it, and promptly made a batch that just finished maturing. I tried the first bottle earlier this week...and, it's really good.
I used champagne yeast, which cost 74¢ and a $4.50 gallon of local, preservative-free apple cider, for which I got nearly a gallon of homemade hard cider. Lowballing it, I got 110oz for $5.25. Compare that to $8.99 (on sale) for a six-pack of Woodchuck (72 oz total) at my local grocery store.
Whether or not the autumn chill has hit your town yet, it will soon, and friends, we need to be prepared. And for my money, nothing tastes like fall like toasty pumpkin seeds... and apple cider. Whether warm and mulled with spices for everyone or fermented with crisp carbonation for adults, it's just plain wonderful.
And we think it'd be great to make it at home...easily. Some folks are lucky enough to own cider presses, but, thankfully, that's not the only way to get the job done.
For those with a bevy of actual apples, this Instructable shows you how to press them using a simple 2x4 structure and a car jack. (You can also use an electric juicer.) For the rest of us, it's perfectly acceptable to start with pasteurized cider from your local orchard or farmer's market.