It's that time of year, when it's warm in the sun, cool in the shade, and apples overtake the farmers' market. To celebrate late September, here's a cider-based cocktail that's crisp, sparkling, and super-easy to make.
First, grab a fresh apple cider from your local farmers' market or grocery store. While warm spiced cider is delicious with rum or bourbon, we're taking the opposite approach — cold. And with vodka. Although the vodka keeps the flavors clean, a pure cider-and-vodka concoction proved a little too strong all around, but that problem is easily solved with seltzer.
To make: fill a small glass with ice, add a shot of vodka, then fill it the rest of the way with two-thirds cider and one-third seltzer. I added a touch of Bauchant orange liqueur over the top before stirring, for a added complexity and spice (it's sort of like adding orange zest to an apple pie filling).
TIPS FOR LAZY AND CREATIVE BOOZERS
• I would probably not have Bauchant liqueur lying around, had I not received a bottle from a PR person. If you have Triple Sec leftover from Sangria season, you could use a bit of that instead.
• In lieu of orange liqueur, try reducing a little orange juice in a saucepan — you can even toss in a clove or some allspice if you're the type to have that lying around.
• Option 3: Skip all the orange stuff, and just give it a little shake of cinnamon!
Jenni Avins mixes drinks in her New York kitchen, where she also writes about food, fashion, travel, and the arts for various magazines and websites. She makes videos too. Follow her on Twitter @jenniavins