The 'season of mists and mellow fruitfulness' is upon us. If you’re not so smitten with the nippy fall weather, the oh-so-comforting seasonal cider can provide a welcome respite.
A hot, fortified cider is not just a tonic for chilly winter days. Add a generous splash of bourbon and it can reinvigorate the life and soul of any dinner party or soiree. In fact, whether you are snuggled up next to a campfire under the stars or on the sofa, reading a book, this cocktail makes for a perfect companion.
And the best thing about this ultimate crowd pleaser? You can build on the spiciness and add more heat or experiment with your choice of bourbon for unique flavor dimensions.
Mix your own spiced bourbon cider:
Prepare the spiced syrup by adding cider (4 cups), orange and lemon peels (optional), cloves ( 3 whole), cinnamon ( 1 stick), freshly grated ginger ( a pinch), and star anise ( 1 piece) to a pot or saucepan. Bring it to a boil before letting it simmer for around five minutes. Remove from the heat and let it sit for ten minutes. Strain the hot cider and add 2 cups of bourbon. Mix it well.
You can pour the concoction into any container of your choice, or pick an ornate punch bowl if you’re trying to impress. Toss in a few slices of orange to float on top. Serve the drink warm in mugs, tea cups, or hot toddy glasses, and dust it with nutmeg.
The expansive warmth envelopes you instantly, and the spicy and citrusy notes tantalizes your taste buds. Don’t worry, the bourbon’s presence will not be lost in the mix.
Modify the recipe per your tastes, and you may just have the makings of a family tradition that will carry you into many a holiday season.
Bourbon cocktails are much harder to make, compared to rye whiskey cocktails. Bourbon has a natural sweetness that can sometimes mar other flavors used in making cocktails. Whereas rye whiskey, with a drier and spicier flavor, usually serves as a far better base that give cocktails that extra punch.
The ingredients in a Harvard cocktail are reminiscent of a Manhattan. Indeed, they are almost identical, with a couple of variations for distinction. A Harvard doesn’t have the trademark maraschino cherry garnish of a Manhattan. Rather, a thin twist of lemon peel is perched on its rim.
Around the late 90s, Manhattan was gaining prominence as a “drinks wasteland.” With little variety, the art of making and inventing cocktails had taken a backseat. A Cosmopolitan was as sophisticated as it could get before the Appletini came along. In a time when men dominated the scene behind the bar, a woman made her way to the forefront and revolutionised the art of making craft cocktails.