This past weekend I did all the apple picking and cider mill hopping that I wanted to at Holmberg Orchards and B.F. Clyde's here in CT. Now my kitchen is stocked with fresh pressed cider, apples for pie, and some of my favorite hard cider which I've used to conjure up an enticing autumn brew!
Everyone loves sangria - it's sweet, smooth, contains yummy bits of fruit to nom on and goes down WAY too easily. It's something I personally associate with warm weather and time spent outside in the sun, while apple cider is something I crave as soon as the crisp fall air comes around and daylight dwindles. But why not combine the two by replacing the grape wine with hard cider?
Choose a cider that is sweet, not dry, for this recipe. If you live in an area with lots of apple orchards, chances are you might have a local cider mill that crafts hard cider, so look around for local tastings. Otherwise a couple bottles of a sweeter variety of the popular brands like Woodchuck or Crispin would work. I used a bottle of Macintosh from Holmberg Orchards for the CT area folks!
Autumn Sangria with Hard Cider
(makes about 6 servings)
1 sweet apple, cored and sliced
1 tart apple, cored and cut into cubes
3/4 cup fall raspberries
6 seckel pears, whole
1 750mL bottle hard cider
1/2 cup bourbon
2 Tbsp Calvados or other apple brandy
1 cup ginger beer
1. To a large pitcher add all the prepared fruit. Pour in the bourbon, calvados and ginger beer and stir. Slowly add the bottle of hard cider. Set in the fridge for 2 hours and serve. (If you'd prefer to preserve more carbonation, serve immediately or hold off on adding the hard cider until serving. It is delicious even when completely flat though!)