Holy Toledo! It’s actually a tad warm up and over here in the Northwest, with the sun beating and bleating down and temperatures approaching something that seems, suspiciously, like summer. And when summer hits, one of my favorite things to drink is a cold hard cider served up over lots of ice cubes. I picked up this habit when visiting the U.K. once (and by visiting, I mean stopping at every little pub I could to taste local brews and booze) with pals Mark and Leslie and wife Nat and have never stopped. While I’ll admit my fav ciders tend to be dry and with accent, I also am a huge fan and support more local ciders, like the lovely Tieton ciders and Ace ciders (from CA). In the below pic, I was sipping an Ace while picking out what smashing sandwich I was going to order at the almighty Smarty Pants. I went with the Ms. Piggy, with Field Roast, and the combo was darn fine.
Not too long ago, I was lucky enough to be able to play around with making drinks that feature Washington State cider-maker Tieton’s ciders. Operating out of the Yakima, WA area, Tieton ciders utilize all-natural ingredients, are made with care, and are starting to be more and more widely available. The ingredients and care are evident when drinking them, too, as they boast clear, crisp taste (which is what you want in your ciders—stay away from those overly sugary messes). At first, I was a little unsure about what I’d mix up with them, but after taking a few sips my unsure-ness re-routed straight into excitement. The following are my two favorite Tieton mixes. So, head down to your store and pick up some Tieton cider (or head down to complain that they don’t yet have them) and then cocktail up.
1-1/2 ounces dark rum
3/4 ounces Grand Marnier
1 dash Peychauds bitters
2 ounces chilled Tieton Wild Washington apple cider
Apple slice, for garnish
1. Fill a cocktail shaker halfway full with ice cubes. Add the rum, Grand Marnier, and bitters. Shake well.
2. Strain into a cocktail glass. Top with the Tieton Blend apple cider. Stir briefly and carefully. Garnish with the apple slice.
1 ounce applejack or apple brandy
3/4 ounce Benedictine
2 dashes Fee Brother peach bitters
Chilled Tieton Blend apple cider
Mint sprig, for garnish (optional)
Apple slice, for garnish (optional)
1. Fill an Old Fashioned glass three quarters full with ice cubes. Add the applejack, Benedictine, and bitters. Stir briefly.
2. Fill the glass almost to the rim with Tieton Blend apple cider. Stir again, briefly. Garnish with a mint sprig and an apple slice, if desired.