apple cider sidecar (cidercar).

Let’s give the classic sidecar a decidedly fall twist!

A few weeks ago, my friend popped over one evening, and wanted a cocktail instead of wine. Since she came bearing fresh apple cider, I figured we had to incorporate that into the drink du jour: hello, apple cidercars!

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If you’ve never had a sidecar before, you’re in for a real treat! They are the French version of a margarita: a sour-based drink with cognac instead of tequila. Instead of lime juice, sidecars use lemon juice, but I am breaking the rules with the addition of apple cider. The cider really balances the drink, making it sweet, but not cloying, and it places perfectly with the rich flavor of the cognac. Because the cider mellows the drink out, this is great for those who don’t like an alcohol-forward cocktail. Try it, it’s delicious, and a wonderful, festive drink!

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apple cider-car.

ingredients
3 ounces apple cider
3 ounces cognac or brandy
1 ounce triple sec
1 ounce fresh lemon juice
ice

directions
Fill two coup glasses with ice. Set aside. In a cocktail shaker, fill with ice and add the apple cider, cognac, triple sec and lemon juice. Shake 20-30 times, until shaker is ice cold.

Remove ice from glasses and pour the cocktail. Serve immediately.

Serves 2.

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bourbon apple cider + ginger cocktail.

Tis’ the season for all things apple. I was reading an article on Buzzfeed recently (my lunchtime mindless guilty pleasure reading for sure), I happened upon a quiz titled “are you more apple spice or pumpkin spice?”. Well, I don’t need a quiz to tell me that I am squarely in the apple spice camp. Full disclosure: I one hundred percent took the quiz and was relieved when it confirmed that yes, I was in fact apple spice. Whew. 

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It’s not that I don’t love pumpkin flavored goodies. I do! My previous recipe can attest!  It’s just, I love apple. All things. My very first scented candle obsession was with apple cinnamon. I like that tart/sweet combination, and the slightly spicy notes… just yum. So what does that have to do with cocktails? Well, not very much actually. As promised in the last post, this cocktail is the perfect accompaniment. This drink is simple, oh so perfect for fall, and strikes a great balance between sweet, spicy and bitter.

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Do you like bourbon? I never used to, but over the years I’ve developed quite the taste for it, especially from bourbon-based cocktails. This one is oddly refreshing, which is a word I usually reserve for warm weather recipes. We’re going to combine bourbon (I like Knob Creek for this) with gorgeous, cloudy apple cider, a twist of orange and topped with spicy ginger beer. Make sure to get good, strong ginger beer for this: I used Trader Joe’s triple ginger brew… it has quite the kick!

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Shake and pour over ice for a delicious cocktail that tastes just like the cool days of fall. The original recipe had a cinnamon and sugar rimmed glass, but I tried it with and without and found I liked it much better without.

These are great for a crowd… you could make a big batch of the bourbon/orange/cider mix, and then top with the ginger beer when ready to serve, to ensure the cocktail stays bubbly and festive. Enjoy you guys!

apple cider +ginger bourbon cocktail. 

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ingredients
4 ounces bourbon (I like Knob Creek or Buffalo Trace for this)
8 ounces cloudy apple cider
1 ounce fresh orange juice
4 ounces ginger beer

directions
Juice an orange. Add juice, apple cider, bourbon to a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake well.

Strain into cocktail glasses filled with ice. Top evenly with ginger beer. Serve immediately.

Makes 2 very generous cocktails. Makes 4 regular sized cocktails.

**Please use all organic ingredients wherever possible** 

blood orange margaritas.

It’s Tuesday, and it’s cocktail time! (?) When is it NOT cocktail time?? It’s citrus season, and although I love all citrus, blood oranges hold a special place in my heart.

This vibrant, deeply hued fruit has a very brief season, peaking in January. Whenever they are in season at my supermarket, I am certain to be scooping them all up and incorporating them into as many dishes as possible. And, of course, eating them straight up with a million napkins (they are juicy little suckers!). One of my favorite ways to serve them is in this fun twist on the classic drink, a margarita. I like my classic margaritas STRONG: a 3:1:1 ratio of tequila, triple sec and lime juice. The below recipe reads more as a 2:1 ratio between the tequila and the juices, and I reduced the amount of triple sec, as the blood orange juice is very sweet. Feel free to play with the ratios until you find your desired strength.

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Truly, I had an entirely different post planned to share with you, and was going to share these margaritas at a later date. After a particularly long and demanding Monday, I stopped off and ran some errands after work, despite the blowing, drifting, and aggressively falling snow. I didn’t finish making dinner until almost 9pm, and yet, when I took my first sip of this drink, the stress just *melted* away. So, I decided I NEEDED to share this recipe with you, STAT. I was so excited, that I snapped a few quick shots of the drink in my dark kitchen while cooking just so that I could share it with you as soon as possible. I struggle with patience. But, please! Try this. It is a delightfully in-season drink that is at once refreshing, thanks to to orange and lime, and festive, thanks to the tequila. Margaritas make Mondays infinitely better.

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blood orange margaritas. 

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ingredients

6 ounces silver tequila
2 ounces freshly squeezed blood orange juice (I got plenty from one orange)
1 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
1 ounce triple sec
ice

directions

Juice the blood orange and lime. Add juice, triple sec and tequila to a cocktail shaker. Add ice. Shake gently about 10 time. Strain and pour into rocks glasses over ice. Serves 2.