The leaves are changing, it’s a bit chilly and the wind has nippy bite. It must be apple season. I’ve been resisting, but it’s becoming clear as the produce available at the farmers market changes. The tomatoes, corn, and fresh herbs are being replaced by pumpkins, squash, apples, hearty greens, and root vegetables.
Today I succomb and gave my self to it, buying a big gallon of sweet cider. After a long day of studying for my AI exam, I am looking forward to curling up on my couch with a warming glass. Of course, the cider will be really special if it is accompanied by a wee dram. So I set out to look for a good accoutrement to the cider.
I’m always a fan of anything involving applejack, a traditional American beverage. I am holding out for the hard to find bonded stuff. To go with cider, a good complements are bourbon, rum, or even sweet and hard cider-on-cider action. Here are a few ideas I gathered from the web.
Hot Buttered Cider
Green Street, they serve a version of bourbon and cider called the Stone Fence: Old Fitzgerald 1849 bourbon, sweet cider (probably pasteurized), and Angostura bitters over ice with a lemon wheel for garnish.
Mulled Cider Cocktail
It makes a spiced cider syrup that is added to cava. Instead of cava, what about adding it to hard sparkling cider?
What could go better with apples (and cider) than bacon. So, my ideas is to do a cider cocktail with a bacon infused bourbon.
I followed the recipe from PDT for a bacon infused bourbon. (A butter and vanilla infused rum also sounds amazing.The result of infusing the bourbon with bacon is a rich, smoky flavor that somewhat reminds me of a peaty scotch.
Adaptation of a Stone Fence
2 oz bacon infused bourbon
1 oz sweet apple cider
a few dashes of Angostura bitters (an orange/spice flavoring)
The sweetness of the cider is a nice complement to the smokiness of the bourbon. Krystle likes it warm, but I prefer it slightly chilled.
Lastly, here a few of my “buying” notes on bourbons that could be suitable. Avoid the “too popular” choices like Jim bean, Marker’s Mark. These are popular but spend more on marketing than their product. Instead favor lesser known brands where you are paying for the product. Here are a few I found from around the web that garnered good reviews:
1) Elijah Craig 12-Year
2) Eagle Rare 10-Year
3) Buffalo Trace (for example, Charter 101, W.L. Weller 12-Year-Old Bourbon)
4) Evan Williams Single Barrel (any year… althought ppl say to get the 10 yr)
5) Old Fitzgeralds 1849
6) Others include: Ancient Ancient Age (not a typo), table: W.L. Weller/Elmer T. Lee/Bulleit