Hard Cider Cocktails for Winter

All photos by Danielle Macdonald.  There’s something about apples that gets everyone very excited during the winter season - apple pie, apple sauce and apple cider. While ciders are made wherever apples are grown, this fixation has become especially deep rooted in American culture. English settlers started the craze out of disappointment with the bitter crab apples the New World had to offer. They began importing their own apples seeds and thus the American orchards were born.

Once the apple pies and apple butter had been made, the left over apples were pressed and stored in barrels to ferment. In recent years, hard apple cider has had a trendy new makeover with bottles of cider aged in fancy barrels. Apple cider cocktails are similarly making a big comeback. Here are a few to inspire apple lovers, and as a reminder that apple cider is not only served warm with a cinnamon stick!

Apple Inferno

Place crushed ice in large glass. Pour bourbon and chili liqueur into a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake well. Add cider to shaker and gently stir. Pour contents of shaker over the crushed ice in a tall glass and top off with ginger ale. Garnish with a single apple slice (optional).

Miss Maple & a Pocket Full of Apples

Pour maple brandy and vodka into a shaker with ice and shake vigorously. Add cider to the shaker and stir gently. Strain contents of the shaker into a large glass and garnish with either a slice of apple or one piece of crispy fried bacon.

Scrummy Scrumpy Cocktail

Choose a wide rimmed glass. Wipe/squeeze the juice from a lemon wheel around the rim. Turn glass upside down on a plate of brown sugar and rim glass. Place sherry, sake and syrup in a shaker with crushed ice. Shake well. Add cider to shaker and stir. Strain contents into glass.