BAM!!! Just like that it’s September. I’m relaxing on the deck thinking about the next couple of weeks. Believe it or not, we are already creeping into the fall season! The one thing I always look forward to at summer’s end are the trips to the cider mill. It’s the smell of the donuts and cider. I know talking about summer being over is a bit of a bummer for some, but one of my favorite Michigan seasons is what’s next in line: FALL.
The football games have already started, and it’s time to think of cider mills, sweet caramel apples, toasty bonfires and tailgate parties. Apple cocktails are a great way to start the season. Here are a few suggestions:
Fall Cider Sangria
1 Sliced apple
1 Sliced pear
1 Sliced orange
8 oz. Apple brandy
1 750ml bottle of Santa Rita 120 Sauvignon Blanc
Combine all ingredients in a large pitcher. Chill at least 4 hours.
Mulled Apple Cider Cocktail
1 Quart apple cider
3 Cinnamon sticks
Knob of fresh ginger
3 Whole cloves
Pinch of nutmeg
1 Firm red apple (skin on) cut into small cubes
1 Firm green apple (skin on) cut into small cubes
2 Lemons juiced
¼ Cup granulated sugar
1 Bottle of sparkling wine
In a medium pot, over medium heat, add the cider, cinnamon sticks, fresh ginger, cloves and nutmeg. Stir to blend.
Bring to a boil and reduce heat to a simmer. Reduce by half and taste for seasoning. Set aside to cool. In a large bowl, add apples, lemon juice and sugar. Toss to coat and add to the cider.
Pour the cider and apple pieces in champagne flutes, filling them halfway, and top with sparkling wine. Stir and serve.
Caramel Apple Cider Cocktail
2 oz. Smirnoff Kissed Caramel Flavored Vodka
1 ½ oz. Apple cider
¼ oz. Lemon juice
Caramel sauce for trimming
Apple slices for garnish
Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake well and strain into a martini glass. Shake well again.
Garnish rim with a bead of caramel sauce and a slice of apple.