Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Cinnamon Hard Cider

Crisp, cool air, pumpkins, apples and apple cider are synonymous with this time of year.  Once I get the first hint of cool air my brain instantly starts to think about warm, cozy, comfort foods.  And one of the first flavor combinations that comes to mind is apples and cinnamon.  Any time I get a hint of the combination of sweet, crisp apples and warm cinnamon it just makes me feel all warm and cozy.
I love anything involving apples, so needless to say hard cider is one of my favorite drinks and has been for quite some time.  This first time I tried hard cider I tried the Woodchuck brand and I've been stuck on that until this year.  When I went to the store recently to pick up some cider they were out of my "go to" brand so I decided to branch out and try a new brand.  After I browsed through the ciders I finally decided to go with Angry Orchard.  And let me tell you, it was a decision that was well made.  I believe I may have found my new "brand of choice". 
While I enjoy the the flavor of the hard cider by itself, there are some times where I like to add a little something to it to change it up a big.  The other night was one of those times.  So I started playing around with different ingredients and options until I finally came up with this cinnamon hard cider cocktail.
This cocktail combines a mixture of apple cider, hard cider, whisky, honey, and maple syrup.  All of  that is combined and poured over ice and thinly sliced pieces of a tart Granny Smith apple.  Then topped with a sprinkle of ground cinnamon and garnished with a cinnamon stick. 
With each sip of this cocktail you taste the cinnamon, the crisp cider, get a hint of the warm whiskey, and it's all balanced out with the natural sweetness of the honey and maple syrup.  Oh, and once you've enjoyed the entire glass you're not through.  Oh no.  You've got the crispy apples to enjoy.  The apples that have been soaking in the spiked cider mixture, and yes you can taste the drink with each bite of crisp apples. 

This is the perfect type of drink to enjoy on the cool, crisp nights we're all experiencing right now.  It would also be ideal at your Thanksgiving gathering or upcoming Christmas parties.  This is a low-key, no fuss cocktail that's big on the tastes of the season.

Cinnamon Cider

Ingredients:

1 (12oz) Bottle hard cider
1 1/4 Cup apple cider
3 Oz whiskey
1/2 Tbsp maple syrup
1 1/2 Tsp honey
1 Apple
Cinnamon stick
Ground cinnamon

Directions:

Combine hard cider, apple cider, whiskey, maple syrup, and honey in a pitcher and gently stir to combine.

Thinly slice the apple.

Place apple slices in two glasses, fill glasses with ice and pour cider mixture over the ice and apples.  Garnish with a cinnamon stick, ground cinnamon and an apple slice.

Recipe source: A Lynsey Original

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