I don't know about you, but I LOVE cider. Just thinking about it - holding a warm mug, smelling apple and spice in the air, sipping that cinnamon-y deliciousness by an open fire - just makes you feel all fuzzy inside, doesn't it?!
When I knew I'd be co-hosting a workshop event titled: 'Paper, Pines & Cider', I couldn't wait to start mulling! Of course, first I needed to go on a hunt for two key elements: a delicious recipe, and more importantly, fantastic booze to spike it with.
Always wanting to support local businesses, The Baltimore Whiskey Co. immediately jumped in my mind as the perfect distillery to collaborate with.
My husband, Nate, and I are huge fans of TBWC's small batch, hand-crafted spirits (if you are a gin fan, you need to try their 'Shot Tower Gin'!). Coincidentally we had also just tasted their '1904 Ginger Apple Liqueur' which is mmmarvellous! Really though: it's sippable, but not too sweet or gingery with just the right amount of bite. After visiting the guys at TBWC in Remington (who really are the nicest, most passionate bunch of dudes), it was settled:
We were going to join forces to make the perfect beverage for Paper Pines & Cider!
TBWC provided their '1904 Ginger Apple Liqueur' (did I mention this is delicious) as well as their 'Shot Tower Barreled Gin' (also fantastic - imagine a caramelized christmas tree with just the right amount of warmth going down).
Now, the hubs and I pride ourselves in our cocktail making abilities; so after scouring the internet, pinterest & instagram, I knew I found a winning recipe when I came across Bon Appetit's 'Mulled Cider with Winter Spices' from December 1998 (recipe below). It was simple, used fresh citrus and was chock full of spices. It also only takes 30 min to brew which was perfect since I wanted to make the cider fresh the morning of the event.
Guys & gals, this recipe is easy!
Bonus: it'll make your house smell like the real-life version of that favorite holiday candle you bring out this time of year.
Not to mention, my kitty - who's name is actually Mr. Whiskey, coincidence? ;) - was also really into it and kept happily sniffing the spice-laced air.
A few days before 'Paper Pines & Cider', I learned that a few of our guests were either expecting, or just had a baby (congrats ladies!). So in lieu of spiking the whole batch at the event, I set TBWC's goodies near the punch bowl so guests could help themselves. This actually ended being an awesome decision because everyone went in, spiked their individual mugs and switched up using both the '1904 Ginger Apple Liquor' & the 'Shot Tower Barreled Gin.'
Needless to say both liquors were hits!
We only had a little bit left in each bottle by the end of the night. Also, the cider recipe was just as delicious as I had hoped. Although we had some wine available at the event (just in case someone wasn't a cider drinker), no one even touched it! Everyone was going for the cider and came back for seconds, thirds and even fourths (the pretty vintage mugs we used were small - so bring on the helpings!).
Moral of the story: JUST TRY THIS RECIPE. And don't forget to grab a bottle or two of The Baltimore Whiskey Co.'s liquors to pair it with it! Seriously the perfect combo of flavors for all those holiday parties coming up.
MULLED CIDER WITH WINTER SPICES
BON APPÉTIT DECEMBER 1998
YIELD: Serves 12
- 12 cups apple cider
- 1/4 cup orange juice
- Peel (orange part only) from 1 orange, cut into strips
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tablespoon (packed) brown sugar
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 2 whole cloves
- 2 whole allspice
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- Pinch of salt
- 1 1/2 cups Baltimore Whiskey Co's '1904 Ginger Apple Liqueur' or Shot Tower Barreled Gin' (optional)
- 1 orange, sliced into 1/2 inch rounds
- 1/4 cup fresh cranberries
Mix (or bundle in cheesecloth) the first 10 ingredients in large saucepan. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer mixture 30 minutes to blend flavors. Strain mulled cider into a punch bowl. Garnish with orange slice rounds and fresh cranberries. Serve cider, passing TBWC's liquors separately, if desired.
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