Bright and tangy with that distinct crispness of the seasonal fruit, few alcoholic beverages have become more synonymous with fall and winter than hard apple cider. Not only that, but the balance of sweet and tart make the drink not only enjoyable on its own, but a versatile ingredient to include in cocktails. (Not to mention pair with some of our favorite foods of the cold weather season.)
Given that, we thought it was only appropriate to round up a list of the perfect libations to be mixing this season, so we turned to our friends at Angry Orchard Cider. A staple in the United States since 2011, the brand has since released a wide variety of styles to suit every taste. There’s the fruity notes of the Summer Honey and the slightly oaky edge of the Knotty Pear. But two of our favorites, especially this season, are the traditional Crisp Apple and Cinnful Cider Blends.
The former boasts a bright, crisp, and light flavor that’s much like biting into the freshly picked fruit. It’s offers an ideal blend of sweetness and acidity, with an added dryness for a complex sip. The Cinnful Apple, on the other hand, gives off a slight heat thanks to the warming nature of cinnamon spice. Either of the blends are perfect for using in your drinks these season, and we can’t recommend enough the five recipes below.
Made with cinnamon cider, rum, cream, port, sugar, and eggs, this holiday-appropriate cocktail requires a bit more work than you might typically put into making at home. That said, if you’re willing to put in the extra work, it’s totally worth it for this irresistibly creamy concoction. See recipe
Winter Orchard Punch
Not only is this cocktail sweet, tangy, and easy to drink, but it’s the perfect festive addition to any holiday table. Choose your pick of vodka, gin, or rum, and then mix with Crisp Cider, cranberry syrup, raspberry puree, and hint of lemon. A sprinkling of fresh cranberries on top makes this punch as decorative as it is delicious. See recipe
Angry Orchard Toddy (pictured)
There’s nothing quite like a Hot Toddy on a cold winter’s day. Now the classic recipe is getting kicked up a notch with the help with warming Cinnful Apple Cider and a homemade honey syrup simmered with spicy ginger. See recipe
Angry By the Fire
As the name suggests, this is a drink you’ll want to be sipping by the fireplace all winter long. Crisp Apple Cider comes together with Fireball whiskey, orange juice, cream, and a hint of a vanilla for a cocktail that’s at once fruity, spicy, sweet, and clean. See recipe
Cinnful Angry Pie
Bring the taste of apple pie to life in a glass with Cinnful Cider, bourbon, and a few brandied cherries. Can’t seem to find brandied cherries? Simply soak fresh ones in sweet vermouth overnight. And if you really want to get that apple pie taste, Angry Orchard suggests rimming the glass with crushed graham crackers and honey before adding the ingredients. See recipe
Photo credit: Courtesy of Angry Orchard Cider