While cooking, listen to this: So Young by Portugal. The Man
After a certain point, living in New York becomes almost natural. I say almost because mysterious subway stenches will never be considered natural, but after a bit of adjustment, the big city mellows enough to make any transplant feel at home. Or at least, said transplant finds the mellow among the chaos.
I've been here for over three years now, and while I've never considered myself a New Yorker, I feel I have the city down pretty well. I know how to outsmart the closing doors, maneuver reckless bikers and eat delectably while on a budget. Despite this, I still find myself surprised by the small things this city quietly offers. Like the tiny corner farmers market just outside Morningside Park. Rina and I went with the intention of meeting Susie's Senior Dogs, and left with a bottle of the most understated alcohol I've ever encountered: apple brandy.
Started by two friends with a joint passion for food, wine and spirits (hey, sound familiar?), Neversink Spirits produces spirits from fall's favorite fruit - the apple. All locally sourced and grown upstate, Rina and I met one of the two co-founders, Yoni, at his stall, tasted the apple brandy and looked at each other wide-eyed. This stuff was good. We bought a bottle on right on the spot.
It couldn't be more appropriate that Rosh Hashanah was a week away, so we compounded our new treasure with another ever-holy apple beverage - cider. I could spend hours listing off the reasons I love fall, but apple cider beats pumpkin spice every. damn. time. There's nothing quite like a tall glass of the stuff with a side of greasy cider donut. The perfect fall day, if you ask me. And the perfect excuse to feel festive! Spiked cider is hardly unheard of, but we knew this apple brandy would take it to the next level. And boy, were we right.
This cocktail is smooth as hell and has a slight sour tinge, thanks to a squeeze of lemon. It's easily customizable, super quick and can turn any This Is Us viewing party into a fall-themed fiesta.
So whether you bookmark this recipe for Thanksgiving or whip it up next Saturday night, we can promise you're in for a great evening. Slice some apples, wedge some lemons and garnish your favorite tumblers (or cups from Ikea, we don't judge). Fun straws are optional, but strongly encouraged.
APPLE BRANDY SPIKED CIDER
Servings: 1 drink
Cook Time: literally 2 minutes
Category: Drinks, Celebrate, Fall
Note: since taste in drinks (all recipes I guess, actually, but whatever) is subjective, use this as a guideline - if you want a stronger drink, add more brandy or add less apple cider. If you want it more sour, add more lemon juice. Make this taste exactly how you want it! This is how we like ours:
1 part apple brandy (ex. 2 shots/3-4 fluid ounces)
2 parts apple cider (ex. 6-8 fluid ounces)
Seltzer, to top
Fresh lemon juice
In a glass (or, if making many, a pitcher), add the apple brandy and cider. Squeeze some fresh lemon juice in and stir well. Top with seltzer, et voila! You're done.