As you may be able to tell, I get creative in the kitchen through baking primarily and from anything I find at the farmer’s market secondarily. My guy… well as a sommelier with a background in brewing beer, he gets creative with cocktails.
Enter the holidays. I could tell you that the first Thanksgiving he spent with my family, he brought over expensive wine to share his love of the beverage. I could tell you that while we were dating, we weren’t too serious because I had just gotten out of a relationship yet my mom booked us both flights home for Christmas the following month. More importantly, I could also tell you that I made the first cocktail here and it’s been a dessert time tradition ever since.
The recipe for the apple infusion is in a previous blog post, but also in my e-book as a no-waste recipe from making applesauce. The peels are covered with vodka and what comes out is a smooth, slightly sweet, slightly spiced alcohol that is good enough to sip straight. It’s my favorite to use for this recipe, but if you haven’t made it, use your favorite vodka in it’s place. If you’re in the midcoast Maine area, I highly recommend Split Rock Distillery for a gluten free, organic version that’s made with non-gmo corn.
The second cocktail is his play on a mule. You can add lime juice for a more traditional mule recipe, but we were trying for an all-Maine cocktail so we skipped it this time. Don’t skip on the ginger rim – it makes the cocktail!
ingredients – hot apple toddy
1 pint apple cider
1- 2” cinnamon stick
1 star anise
2- ¼” orange rounds
8 ounces apple vodka*
2- 4” sprigs of rosemary
In a medium pot, add the cider, spices and the orange rounds. Bring to a boil, lower to a simmer and let it cook for 20-30 minutes lightly.
Pour 2 ounces of vodka into each mug and top with the warm cider. Garnish with a sprig of rosemary.
ingredients – apple ginger mule
6 ounces ginger beer (we used
3 ounces apple vodka*
1 ounce fresh lime juice (optional)
1 tablespoon maple sugar
1 teaspoon ground ginger
¼ apple, sliced (optional garnish)
On a small plate, mix the maple sugar and ginger together. Set aside.
In a cocktail shaker, or Ball jar, combine the ginger beer, vodka and lime juice, and shake until fully combined and cold. To serve, dampen the rim of your glass with water before dipping it into the sugar mixture. Fill the glass with ice and strain the cocktail into the glass. garnish with apple slices.