Happy Fall Friday! The Sharkbait clan decided to take advantage of a warm Fall Saturday (as well as get the fuck out of the house and do something) last weekend and we figured going to an orchard would be a relatively socially distant and safe activity. So off we went, and came back with way more apples than we know what to do with, non alcoholic apple cider (only because their hard cider was not ready to be canned yet) and beer.
The plethora of apples and the cider had me thinking about how to utilize them in a tasty beverage. Some quick research lead me to the aptly named Gin, Apple Cider & Ginger Beer Cocktail:
1.5 ounces gin
.75 ounces fresh squeezed lemon juice
.75 ounce apple juice or cider
Combine gin, lemon juice and apple cider in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake well and pour into ice filled, chilled glass. Top with ginger beer, stir and garnish with an apple slice and fresh grated nutmeg.
The nutmeg dominates the nose. Other aromas, even the fresh apple have issues cutting the strong spice scent. The juniper notes from the gin are also obscured here as well.
The sip starts off fairly neutral. The fizz of the ginger beer is the most noticeable trait. Halfway through the sip the flavor starts to come out. Hints of apple from the cider start to come through, mixed with lemon. I’m pleasantly surprised the lemon juice and cider play as nicely together as they do. Neither overpowers the other, but they take off the edge each one brings: The cider isn’t as sweet as straight cider is, and the lemon flavor stays, while the sharp tartness of the juice is muted. This nice flavor meld holds all the way through the end of the sip.
The gin is not noticeable here at all, which I think is a good thing. The source mentioned using Hendricks, but I’m not sure cucumber gin would be the best here. I like what regular London Dry brings to the party. But, I’m not opposed to trying this again with Hendricks and seeing how that turns out.
For a fall drink, I’m surprised it is as light as it is. I was expecting more of the seasonal ingredients like the apple, cider and nutmeg to add more body and stronger flavors. Because it is so light, I think this drink is perfect for the early fall. Especially at this point in the season. The days (at least in the Northeast) can still touch the mid 70s, so a nice and refreshing seasonal drink is most welcome.
(Banner image found here)