I’ll admit it, I’ve been hesitant about saying goodbye to summer.
Blame it on my California roots, but I’m a sucker for sunshine and blue skies. I like summer, a whole lot.
But, then, October creeps up on me and surprises me in the best possible way. Fall is a magical time in the Pacific Northwest. The leaves are turning and the trees are gorgeous shades of yellow, orange, and red. The days are sunny and crisp. All around the city, people are donning jackets, hats, and scarves. It’s really quite lovely.
When I think about it, saying goodbye to summer isn’t such a bad thing at all. There’s a lot to be celebrated, so I’m embracing autumn and all that it brings.
This cocktail is the perfect drink to usher you into the fall season. This cocktail strikes a perfect balance between the sweetness of apples, the spice of ginger and cinnamon, the brightness of lemons, and the warmth of bourbon. This ‘punch’ is sweet, but not too sweet. The spices are present, but not overpowering. The drink contains no added sugar, only the sugar that is present in the apple cider.
All of that to say, cheers to the changing of seasons!
- For the spiced cider:
- 1 quart pure apple cider (No added sugar, seasonings, or preservatives.)
- 4 cinnamon sticks
- 1 teaspoon cloves
- 1 teaspoon whole allspice berries
- Several thin slices of fresh ginger (1 small knob of ginger)
- 3-4 large strips of lemon zest
- For the cocktail:
- 3 oz. spiced apple cider
- 1½ oz. quality bourbon (I used Buffalo Trace.)
- 1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
- Lemon wedge for garnish
- In a large pot, combine apple cider and spices. Allow to simmer for at least 30 minutes, until cider is fragrant and infused with the spices. Remove from heat and allow to cool. (The spiced cider can be made ahead of time and stored in the fridge for a few days).
- To make the cocktail, combine the bourbon, spiced cider, and lemon juice in a shaker or glass. Stir (or shake) and pour over ice. Garnish with a lemon slice. Enjoy!
- (Note: This punch can be pre-mixed and stored in an airtight container in the fridge for 2-3 days.)
Adapted from Saveur