Archive for Boozy

Citrus Caramel Apple Cider

It’s December, and that means it’s the season for twinkly lights, yummy food, gatherings and good drinks.

Obviously, a bunch of those things will not be happening this year, but I’d argue that this year, more than ever, we need some extra cheer.

I don’t know if you’ve noticed this in your neighbourhood, but it seems like people are putting up Christmas lights and decorating earlier than ever. I get it. We all need some cheer, and more than that, something to look forward to.

Parties (unless they’re virtual) will be a thing of the past this year, but I’m hopeful I’ll be able to at least eat Christmas dinner with a small group of family. I’ve also booked a staycation on the Island for Michael and I, though we both know it’s very possible that may be cancelled.

Citrus Caramel Apple Cider

We are badly in need of Christmas cheer, and I have just the thing.

I recently attended a virtual workshop put on by Simply Bare Organics, where we made three different cider recipes. This one was my favourite, and Michael really loved it, too.

It’s a citrusy mulled cider with a sweet kick.

You could, by the way, make this more adult by adding booze. I would consider rum, bourbon, or something orangey like Grand Marnier to play off of the citrus notes in the cider.

It makes for a very pretty drink when you use a transparent glass to serve (I am loving these new double-walled glasses I recently bought), and drizzle the inside of the glass with the caramel before you pour in the cider.

For this recipe, we just melted down regular caramels over a double boiler, but you could also use a bottled caramel sauce or you could even make you own. You just want the consistency to be thick enough that it sticks to the walls of the glass, at least for a while, before dissolving.

One last thing: this would make a great virtual Christmas activity to do with family or friends. Just buy multiple ingredients, then put together boxes, one for each household, and drop them off. Then book a zoom date when all of you can make the cider and enjoy it together virtually.

Citrus Caramel Apple Cider

recipe courtesy of Travis Peterson for Simply Bare Organics

Makes one serving

Ingredients

  • 12 oz apple cider (I love Taves)
  • 4 oz orange juice
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 slice of lemon
  • 1/2 cinnamon stick
  • 1/2 vanilla pod, split
  • 1/2 tsp whole cloves
  • 1/2 tsp allspice
  • caramel to drizzle

Method:

  1. In a medium pot over medium heat, place the cider, sugar, orange juice, lemon and spices. Bring up to the boil, then reduce to a simmer.
  2. Allow to simmer for 10 minutes, uncovered.
  3. An alternate way to do this is to put all the ingredients into a slow cooker (in this case, quadruple the recipe and make multiple servings), and allow to cook on low for about an hour.
  4. Melt the caramel over a double boiler, if using solid caramel. Drizzle the inside of a pretty glass with the caramel drizzle/sauce.
  5. Using a fine mesh strainer, strain the cider into the glass.
  6. Garnish with a lemon twist and serve.

 

Boulevardier Cocktail

Yep, it’s fall. Like, aggressively fall. The leaves are gone off the trees, and the golden days of October are behind us, with nothing but rain and cold and dark ahead of us for the next few months.

This is the part of the year I’ve been dreading, to be honest. We’re 8 months into this delightful global pandemic and the onset of the second wave means that case numbers are climbing, even here in BC where we have been pretty lucky at keeping our numbers down.

Part of what has been a huge part of my self care in terms of mental health for the last 6 months or so is a daily walk, but the rain is threatening that, too. I’ve been managing to still squeak them in between raindrops, and I’m learning about gear and starting to invest in it.

Boulevardier Cocktail

Boulevardier Cocktail

Still. I miss my friends. My social circle, in terms of who I actually see, is very small, just two or three. It’s hard not seeing my friends, some of whom have little kids that are growing up so quickly. I miss hugs and intimate conversations over a glass of wine.

I’m not saying any of this to complain–realistically, I know this is a big boat with lots of us in it (virtually, socially distanced and wearing masks!). I also know, that, in the grand scheme of things, I have it much better than most. I have a stable home, a stable job, and Stanley Park as my back yard. My family is safe and none of them have been affected by COVID (knock on wood).

But just to acknowledge; these are tough times, friends. I hope you are well and hanging in there.

Also: alcohol!!

Okay, I’m kidding. Kinda. Mostly.

We gotta find joy wherever we can, right? At home, virtual happy hours are where it’s at right now, and I have a treat for you. It’s called The Boulevardier.

I only just discovered this cocktail recently, and let me tell you, I’m a fan. I’ve been working on restocking my bar, and I have recently purchased bourbon, gin, campari and both sweet and dry vermouth.

With these few ingredients, the possibilities for cocktails are almost endless.

And, of course, the Boulevardier, which is like a Negroni, but subs out the summery, lighter gin for a heartier, more cold-weather-friendly bourbon. And even though it’s new to me, it’s not new to the world. It has, in fact, been a thing since the late 1920’s.

It’s simple, but really the most perfect cocktail for fall. The bourbon is rich and bit smoky, and then the sweet vermouth balances out the bitterness of the Campari. Plus the colour is like a beautiful fall leaf. Salut!

Boulevardier Cocktail

Ingredients

  • 1¬†oz bourbon
  • 1 oz sweet (red) vermouth
  • 1 oz Campari

Method

  1. In a large glass, place a handful of ice and pour the bourbon, vermouth and Campari over it.
  2. Stir well, about 20 times.
  3. Strain into a new glass (a pretty one) with one of those large ice cubes if you have it. Garnish with an orange twist and a maraschino cherry.

 

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