Sinister Cider

I was pretty quick to store away the Halloween decorations this year…I’m ready to move onto Thanksgiving and, thanks to the kids’ anticipation, Christmas.  As I mentioned before, I ran out of time to try all of the Halloween cocktail recipes I had hoped to.  Some of them I have stored away for next year, but there are a few that just can’t wait. Maybe I should apologize…but I think they might be versatile enough to serve throughout fall, so long as you look past the names.

I’ve really taken a liking to drinks that use apple cider…and this particular mixture really got me salivating. I did make a few changes to the original recipe to suit my tastes.  But, that’s the fun part – and you, too, should feel free to experiment with the original or a variation of your own.

Ingredients: ¼ apple chopped (I had Honeycrisp apples), ¼ lime cut into wedges, ½ oz. maple syrup, 1 ½ oz. apple cider, 2 oz. vodka, 1 dash bitters, thinly sliced apple and/or lime for garnish Optional: club soda

Directions: Muddle the chopped apple and lime together in the bottom of a cocktail shaker.

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Add cider, maple syrup, vodka, bitters, and ice. Shake and strain into a double old fashioned. Add garnish and ice. Top with club soda, if desired.

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The sweetness of this drink comes mostly from the apple cider. The hints of flavor from the vodka, lime and maple syrup mix together really neatly. I almost think that it needs a little more maple syrup, which I will try next time (maybe the suggested 1 oz.). The bitters got added as an after-thought (I must acknowledge my husband for the suggestion) and it really did complete the drink. He also suggested absinthe but I find the flavor can be overpowering, even with careful, small additions. So, I stuck with just the bitters…and I did NOT add the club soda. The ice helps to water it down a little – but you could also add more apple cider. Martha also used a black sugar rimmed cocktail glass…I omitted the black sugar since Halloween was over and opted to not serve it in the fancy cocktail glass (I was drinking it with my Friday night pizza, the fancy stemware seemed a bit much). However, if the occasion calls for it, a martini glass works – you could even rim your glass with a cinnamon sugar mixture instead for something less Halloween-y, yet seasonally festive. Cheers!

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