I <3 fall. I love the colors, the smells, the tastes & the drinks! Today I played around with some hot mulled apple cider. I took a gallon of the good stuff (actual cider) and added a gallon of cheap apple juice, threw in some cinnamon sticks & cloves and let it simmer in the hot pot. It made the bar smell amazing!!! Then came the experimentation: adding liquor to the cider. I took 10 rocks glasses and added about a half to a quarter of a shot of booze to each and then filled the rocks glass about halfway up with hot mulled cider. I tried them, another local bartender tried em and even some customers took a sip or two. Here are the verdicts:
#1: t the top of the pack, we’ve got FIREBALL! IMHO, one of the best inventions ever: the fusion of cinnamon & whiskey. Fan-fucking-tastic! It’s like cozy-in-front-of-the-fireplace-wonderful in your mouth. Your tastebuds haven’t been this impressed since you discovered poprocks.
#2: Smirnoff Kissed Caramel Vodka. Sprinkle a little cinnamon on top & BAM! It’s a caramel apple in a glass! Also it’s way easier to consume, because you don’t have to worry about getting sticky, getting caramel all over your face & looking like Augustus Gloop. Plus this version gets you drunk. You just don’t get *that* kind of fun from something at a carnival on a stick.
#3: Orange Vodka. Tastes like Christmas. Kind of wonderful, also cheap if you use a well orange vodka. For this experiment, I used Roxx Orange Vodka. I also recommend Burnett’s.
#4: Jim Beam Red Stag: Fantastic! It felt warm & cozy, like I was sitting in front of a fireplace, slopeside. The bourbon and the black cherry combination work surprisingly well with the cider.
#5: Captain Morgan: The tried & true – if you want some extra spice and some oomph and grit in your cider, this one’s for you.
#6: Similar to #2, good ol’ Buttershots (or Butterscotch Schnapps) is pretty damn great. Yup, butterscotch schnapps + apple cider is delicious! Smooth, sweet & just plain delightful! Plus, it’s cheap! Woo!
#7: Pear Vodka: Pretty damn good! A great blending of fall flavors. I used Absolut Pears.
#8: Razzmatazz: Like raspberry apple juice. Sweet, really easy to drink quickly & also cheap to make!
#9: Firefly Sweet Tea Vodka: The tea flavor isn’t dominant, but it lends some really cool sweet, almost vanilla notes to the cider.
#10: Malibu: Honestly, I was kind of disappointed. I love working with Malibu, but Malibu & cider just didn’t make the cut for me.
#11: Vanilla Vodka: Seemed like a great idea in theory. Not recommended.
Next up to try: Tuaca & Goldschlager.
Alas, my computer is dying & it’s time for bed.