boiled apple cider syrup bourbon cocktail

October 11, 2012

The East Coast really knows how to do the entire season of fall. Brisk mornings, brightly colored leaves that crunch underfoot, and the sort of weather that makes you want to wear a scarf.

The whole thing is a pretty glorious time and something that I never really understood until moving to New York. All I knew growing up in the NW was the season of “damp leaves” which is a-not-so-glorious-time that begins around late-September and lasts until about March. I’m semi-kidding of course, and you should know that I’m just satisfying the requirement that all Seattleites must uphold which is to say: whenever possible poke fun at Seattle’s weather in the hopes that no one else will move in and figure out just how awesome the city is – even during the “damp leaves” months.

Last weekend I took a little jaunt upstate to take advantage of my most favorite time of the year. The trip included: warm cinnamon sugar apple cider doughnuts, a pumpkin patch, fresh pressed apple cider, and twenty pounds of pick-it-yourself apples. I am 100% serious that I would take the 90-minute train ride back up just for the doughnuts alone. The whole day was awesome and pretty much fall overload, as evidenced by the photos below.

Back at home it has been various forms of apple overload and I have been working my way through the loot which includes a huge jug of fresh cider. I used a few cups to make boiled apple cider syrup (which is just about the easiest thing to make; directions: boil cider for 30 minutes) and now I have been putting it on everything I can find. My favorite way to use it is in this bourbon cocktail. A little syrup, lemon, bourbon and soda and you have your new favorite cocktail for fall. Happy fall y’all!

P.S. Hey Brooklyn! What are you doing on Sunday, October 21st? Oh what, you are coming to the 3rd Annual Havemeyer Sugar Sweets Festival? That is awesome. I will be there hanging out and also satisfying one of my life-long goals to judge a boozy baked good competition. It will be a most radical day and I hope to see you there! 

A Bourbon Cocktail for Fall
Makes one

1 ounce bourbon
boiled apple cider syrup (recipe below)
half a lemon
seltzer water
ice
thinly sliced apple wedges, for garnish

In the bottom of a metal shaker combine bourbon, a spoonful (or two!) of apple cider syrup, the juice of half a lemon and a few ice cubes. Shake vigorously until combined. Strain into an ice-filled cocktail glass. Top with a splash of seltzer and garnish with an apple slice.

Boiled Apple Cider Syrup
Makes about one-half cup of syrup (or enough to make about 4-6 cocktails)

2 cups (473 ml) fresh pressed apple cider

In a small saucepan bring two cups of apple cider to a boil. Reduce the heat slightly and let the cider simmer uncovered – swirling the pan every so often - for about 30 minutes, or until the liquid has reduced to about 1/2 cup. Let cool slightly and use to shake up your new favorite cocktail for fall.

If you happen to have any leftover syrup it can be stored in a clean jar in the refrigerator and used to pour over pancakes, swirl into ice cream, glaze brussels sprouts, etc., and will generally make most things better.

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{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

Emily @ Jelly Toast October 11, 2012 at 1:22 pm

You pulled me in with the promise of doughnuts and you didn’t disappoint! We, too, recently went to our local apple orchard (in Northwest Ohio), and have been cooking and baking our way through the stash ever since. The cocktail idea is genius! I will be trying this very soon. Thanks so much!

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Nerd With Taste October 11, 2012 at 2:54 pm

So true! I honestly could not bear a country without four seasons, especially one without fall! Not just because it’s pretty, but because of all of the random things that come with it! Great post! Keep it up!

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Shelly October 11, 2012 at 5:29 pm

Oh I love this! We’ve been baking our way through the apple supply we got at the orchard as well and I was getting bored [well...as bored as you can get with things covered in sugar] with dessert recipes. A cocktail sounds perfect!

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Greg October 11, 2012 at 8:20 pm

Note to self…pick up bourbon. Now you’ve done it, you’re gonna give me a reason to like Fall.

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Alanna October 12, 2012 at 3:35 pm

This sounds awesome, and I love all the fall photos. Beautiful post, as always!

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Eileen @ Ham Pie Sandwiches October 13, 2012 at 2:40 pm

Oh man, I’m so jealous of the whole apple-picking and cider mill experience! There definitely isn’t anything to compare to that in California. Boo! But I can get good apple cider, ann this cocktail sounds perfect for cool nights.

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Greg October 14, 2012 at 8:23 pm

OK people…get on this! It was a nice fall day here in MI today, colors pretty, temp around 70…perfect for a drive to the cider mill to get the goods to make this. I’m having one right now. Delicious! I’ll probably be making these until Thanksgiving. Lillie, it’s a winner.

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Lillie October 18, 2012 at 9:16 am

Thank you Greg! I think I will be drinking them until Thanksgiving as well! :)

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Candace October 14, 2012 at 10:09 pm

I went apple pressing this weekend and picked up some phenomenal cider. This drink is perfect – I think I’d only like it more if it were hot! Thanks for a wonderful recipe.

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Candace October 15, 2012 at 10:38 am

My syrup wasn’t as clear as yours appears, nor was it syrupy in consistency, but when I tasted it, it was VERY sweet, so I knew it was ready. I mixed it in my vanilla yogurt this morning and it was amazing.

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Lillie October 18, 2012 at 9:16 am

Yum! It’s fabulous in Greek yogurt! :)

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Riley October 16, 2012 at 5:18 pm

This looks like a delicious fall drink. Yum!

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parisbreakfast November 19, 2012 at 3:34 pm

That is one gorgeous looking apple
Name names pls?
You can not find a decent apple in all of Paris – one good reason to stay in NYC…

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