winter wassail cocktail.

Hey you! How were your holidays? Mine were full of family, friends, and food. So much food. It was glorious. I served up this cocktail, which is delightfully festive and perfect for any New Years Day celebrations you may have… even if your plans are akin to mine, aka loafing around in your comfy clothes, watching tv, and maybe, just maybe, doing some light housework. Hey, at least you’ve got a cocktail in hand!

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This cocktail was mentioned to me by a friend who tried a sample of this winter wassail juice from Trader Joes, and while the clerk mentioned that it’s wonderful warmed (yum!), he immediately turned it into a cocktail.

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As mentioned, the main ingredient it is this winter wassail, which is essentially an apple/berry juice with mulled spices, so any juice combined with classic mulling spices would be perfect! Classic mulling spices are cinnamon sticks, cloves, star anise, orange peel, etc. You can even make your own wassail juice by picking up a mulling spices jar at your market and combining it with an apple or cran-apple juice! So many options! Be sure to use real maple syrup here, garnish with a cinnamon stick, or even a cinnamon sugar rim and a burnt orange peel if you’re feeling extra fancy. Cheers to 2018!

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winter wassail cocktail.

ingredients
1.5 ounces brandy or cognac
3/4 ounces pure maple syrup
1/2 ounce fresh lemon juice
winter wassail juice
ice
cinnamon stick, to garnish
white sugar/ground cinnamon (optional, to rim the glass)
lemon or orange peel (optional, to garnish)
rocks glass

directions
Pour ice into rocks glass. Add brandy, maple syrup, lemon juice and top with winter wassail juice. Stir virtuously to combine. Garnish with a cinnamon stick. Serve immediately.

Makes one cocktail. 

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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.