Everything to Know About Hard Apple Cider, Fall’s Signature Drink

Now that the leaves are changing and we’re eating apple cider donuts every hour on the hour, it seems hard to remember a time when hard apple cider wasn’t also part of our autumn menu. While the craft beer craze and consumption of spiked seltzers and c…

Now that the leaves are changing and we’re eating apple cider donuts every hour on the hour, it seems hard to remember a time when hard apple cider wasn’t also part of our autumn menu. While the craft beer craze and consumption of spiked seltzers and canned cocktails are at an all-time high, so is hard cider. Cider is naturally gluten-free, so a lot of people are able to consume it, which is a big reason why it has become so popular. Five years ago, you could count on one hand the number of hard ciders available nationwide, and most of them were quite sweet. Now, there are hundreds, if not thousands, of cideries producing warm and spiced, fruity, funky hard ciders for consumption from the Finger Lakes of New York to the Pacific Northwest.

If you’ve never tried hard cider before, maybe you’re skeptical. Or maybe you’re excited, but just have no idea where to begin. It’s not nearly as saturated of a market as craft beer is, but there is still plenty to learn and lots of varieties to sip.

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10 Best Nonalcoholic Thanksgiving Cocktail Recipes for the Whole Fam

Thanksgiving dinner isn’t complete without beverages—wine, whiskey, and bourbon may come to mind in some households, plus sparkling water and sodas for anyone not drinking the hard stuff. But there’s a whole category of not-boring nonalcoholic drinks t…

Thanksgiving dinner isn’t complete without beverages—wine, whiskey, and bourbon may come to mind in some households, plus sparkling water and sodas for anyone not drinking the hard stuff. But there’s a whole category of not-boring nonalcoholic drinks that make family-friendly substitutes for Thanksgiving cocktails. Mulled apple cider with cinnamon sticks, orange peel, and fresh ginger is a must, but what about hot chocolate, a cranberry mocktail with Red Bull energy drink, or an apple and maple cocktail made with a nonalcoholic spirit? Here are 10 of the best nonalcoholic Thanksgiving mocktails to make for Turkey Day.


10 Best Thanksgiving Mocktails

1. Perfect Hot Chocolate

The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade kicks off the official start of the holiday season, and nothing says “winter is here” like the perfect cup of hot cocoa. Serve homemade hot chocolate—made with both cocoa powder and chocolate pieces—to kids and adults alike after Thanksgiving dinner.

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The Best Non-Alcoholic Amari

As we prepare to go into the holiday season, when huge meals, seasonal parties, and (if you’re me) gorging on Halloween candy become the norm for a few months, those who are avoiding alcohol can rejoice that a wide selection of excellent non-alcoholic …

As we prepare to go into the holiday season, when huge meals, seasonal parties, and (if you’re me) gorging on Halloween candy become the norm for a few months, those who are avoiding alcohol can rejoice that a wide selection of excellent non-alcoholic bitters are now available for after dinner digestives. Traditionally, bitter liqueurs called amari (amaro as the singular) are served as the balancing finale to rich meals, often alongside or in place of dessert. The unique flavor profiles and complexity in each of these zero-proof options hold their own against (and maybe even rival!) their alcoholic cousins. In the tradition of amari, most of which were marketed as “functional beverages” in the 19th and early 20th century, most of these non-alcoholic bitters also claim to have curative effects or to produce feelings of conviviality from adaptogens, nootropics, and vitamin boosts—minus the impairment of alcohol, of course.

Zero Proof Versions of the Classics

In the market for a sweet, baking-spice-forward style like Amaro Lucano or Luxardo Amaro Abano? Sexy AF’s Amar-Oh is a superb blend of sweet cinnamon and star anise, complimented by just enough tart rhubarb and bitter cinchona bark to keep it sophisticated. Amar-Oh has the rich, syrupy mouthfeel of a real amaro, which makes it perfect for sipping straight up or on the rocks, and works so well in so many cocktails, from a simple spritz to a complicated tiki drink that it deserves to be one of your dry bar staples.

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Brown Sugar Bourbon Smash.

The brown sugar bourbon smash is made with brown sugar syrup, the best bourbon, ginger beer, sliced apples and cinnamon. It’s fall in a cup! Oh hello Friday eve! You deserve a cocktail. Fall cocktail season is the best cocktail season. I’m sure it has something to do with my life long love of apple […]

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The brown sugar bourbon smash is made with brown sugar syrup, the best bourbon, ginger beer, sliced apples and cinnamon. It’s fall in a cup!

Oh hello Friday eve! You deserve a cocktail.

brown sugar bourbon smash

Fall cocktail season is the best cocktail season. I’m sure it has something to do with my life long love of apple cider, but oh my WORD – the flavor combinations are just the best. You can find all of my best fall drinks here and it’s really hard to choose just one!

They are all so good. 

brown sugar bourbon smash

This bourbon smash is made with brown sugar syrup – you know, like the shaken brown sugar espresso thing?

Brown sugar syrup isn’t anything new here on the blog. I’ve been making it for years, both for my iced coffee and my cocktail punch recipes.

brown sugar bourbon smash

Instead of simple syrup, we’re doing brown sugar syrup. Well, I guess it still is simple syrup! 

Just made with brown sugar. You get the drift. It’s easy! 

Brown sugar syrup also lasts for a while in the fridge. So you can use it in alllll the things.

brown sugar bourbon smash

This is how we make the brown sugar bourbon smash.

The brown sugar syrup of course! For sweetness and a little sugary depth. 

Your favorite bourbon. I really love Bulleit but there isn’t a wrong answer here, as long as it’s not what you were drinking from a $12 jug in college.

Ginger beer! A splash of bubbles for some zing – I love using ginger beer this time of year because it imparts some spice into cocktails. A little zip! I love it.

Then toss in a few apples. A cinnamon stick. Maybe even a sprinkle of ground cinnamon.

You can also do a cinnamon sugar rim if you wish. I realize that is very anti-bourbon, and more apple cider margarita-ish. But it’s fall and basically everything needs a cinnamon sugar rim in the fall. You know?  (more…)

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Yes, There Are Sparkling Red Wines That Taste Good

When I was in college I had a roommate whom I loved dearly, but who had incredibly different taste from me. I whipped cream by hand while she bought a tub of Cool Whip. I drank red wine while she drank fruity vodka concoctions whose names shouldn&rsquo…

When I was in college I had a roommate whom I loved dearly, but who had incredibly different taste from me. I whipped cream by hand while she bought a tub of Cool Whip. I drank red wine while she drank fruity vodka concoctions whose names shouldn’t be repeated in polite company.  

So, when one day she brought home a bottle of sparkling red wine that she was over the moon about, I was skeptical. Plus, red wine isn’t supposed to be fizzy, right?  

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33 of My Favorite Drinks For Fall. Cocktails! Mocktails! Coffees!

Here are 33 of my favorite fall drink recipes! From coffee and tea, to punch and sangria, mocktails and hot toddys. Can’t get any better than this – be sure to bookmark this post! You’ve just hit the fall drink jackpot! It’s really the most delicious time of the year. I’ve got you covered with […]

The post 33 of My Favorite Drinks For Fall. Cocktails! Mocktails! Coffees! appeared first on How Sweet Eats.

Here are 33 of my favorite fall drink recipes! From coffee and tea, to punch and sangria, mocktails and hot toddys. Can’t get any better than this – be sure to bookmark this post! You’ve just hit the fall drink jackpot!

It’s really the most delicious time of the year.

33 favorite fall drink recipes

I’ve got you covered with the best of the best when it comes to fall drinks! These fall drink recipes are so good, I could never just choose one. Whether you need something cozy or icy, boozy or comforting, I’ve got it! Below you’ll find a bunch of my favorite fall drinks, like hot chocolates, teas, non-alcoholic punches, sangrias, mimosas and more!

Fall cocktail season is seriously the best. I mean, I guess I could argue that fall is the best time for ANY sort of drink. And I can’t even tell you how many delicious ones I have here on the blog. Don’t make me choose a favorite! I worship at the altar of apple cider, but there are lots of delish pomegranate, maple and pumpkin flavors here too.

33 of My Favorite Fall Drink Recipes

We’re starting with warm coffees and ciders (with one icy exception!), then on to mocktails! Scroll down for all the fall cocktails you need every weekend of the season. What’s on your list for this first official weekend of fall?!

What To Make When You Need a Hug In a Mug

(more…)

The post 33 of My Favorite Drinks For Fall. Cocktails! Mocktails! Coffees! appeared first on How Sweet Eats.

4 Delicious Agua Fresca Recipes and Bar

Agua Fresca is a refreshing drink made from fruit, water and sugar. They’re great for parties and to sip on warm summer days. The flavor combinations are limitless and we’re sharing 4 of our favorite combinations like Watermelon, Cucumber &…

Agua Fresca is a refreshing drink made from fruit, water and sugar. They’re great for parties and to sip on warm summer days. The flavor combinations are limitless and we’re sharing 4 of our favorite combinations like Watermelon, Cucumber & Lime and Mango Pineapple. Keep reading for everything you know on how to make agua […]

The post 4 Delicious Agua Fresca Recipes and Bar appeared first on Sugar and Charm.

11 of the Best Hard Ciders to Sip This Fall

Gone are the days of only being able to find Angry Orchard hard cider in some liquor stores across the country. Cider has become wildly popular in the last five years and for good reason. It somehow manages to appeal to both wine drinkers and beer love…

Gone are the days of only being able to find Angry Orchard hard cider in some liquor stores across the country. Cider has become wildly popular in the last five years and for good reason. It somehow manages to appeal to both wine drinkers and beer lovers equally, which is no easy feat, and brings all the warm and cozy (yet crisp and bubbly) feels to any occasion. Plus, it’s gluten-free. But as cider becomes readily available, the beverage market has become saturated with options ranging from unfiltered to filtered, fruity blends like blackberry and pineapple, and cans that hail from upstate New York, Boston, Austin, and Washington State. We tapped into the Food52 staff—and a few beverage experts—to get their take on the best hard ciders.


11 of the Best Hard Ciders

1. Aval Cider

“Aval Cider is my go to—it is crisp and citrusy, not too sweet, and I love that they use a natural fermentation process. The bottles also look quite chic on a bar cart.” —Shannon Muldoon, Director of Studio52

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Cocktail Mixers Are Getting So Much Better—Here Are 7 Faves

In the not-so-distant past, if you wanted something to mix with liquor beyond the ubiquitous soda brands and fruit juices, your options for premade mixers were neon-hued, cloyingly sweet liquids, typically bearing pseudo-tropical names and unknown ingr…

In the not-so-distant past, if you wanted something to mix with liquor beyond the ubiquitous soda brands and fruit juices, your options for premade mixers were neon-hued, cloyingly sweet liquids, typically bearing pseudo-tropical names and unknown ingredients.

Luckily, cocktail mixers have come a long way in recent years. A growing number of companies (many of them led by former bartenders) have rolled out high-quality mixers, with more flavorful ingredients and scant amounts of sugar, that prioritize the overall flavor of the cocktail, not simply mask the taste of liquor.

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Rosé Aperol Spritz.

Enjoy this weekend with the perfect summer drink! This sparkling rosé aperol spritz is bubbly and citrusy and ideal for a hot sunny day. Garnish with peach slices and enjoy the refreshing glass!  It’s Thursday and I hope you’re thirsty! For the most perfect aperol spritz, of course! Gosh, I just love the spritz. It’s […]

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Enjoy this weekend with the perfect summer drink! This sparkling rosé aperol spritz is bubbly and citrusy and ideal for a hot sunny day. Garnish with peach slices and enjoy the refreshing glass! 

It’s Thursday and I hope you’re thirsty!

sparkling rosé aperol spritz

For the most perfect aperol spritz, of course!

pouring aperol over crushed ice

Gosh, I just love the spritz.

It’s so beautiful and bright. So bubbly! And photogenic. So delicious. 

An aperol spritz is one of the only drinks I really missed and craved when I was pregnant. I love how bubbly and refreshing they are, especially on a hot summer day.

In fact, last week while on vacation I had the most *perfect* spritz. Which meant it was high time to share this one with you today.

pouring sparkling rosé in aperol spritz

When it comes to a classic aperol spritz, I tend to like a splash more of the bubbly than the aperol. Most recipes call for equal parts of aperol and prosecco, but I usually add just a hint more of the prosecco – and in this case, sparkling dry rosé! The effervescence gets me every time. 

And when I make these for guests, they also love the extra splash of bubbly.

sparkling rosé aperol spritz

I love prosecco so much but also love to switch things up with a sparkling rosé. Make sure to grab one that isn’t very sweet. Combine the aperol and sparkling rosé in the glass, top with some soda and garnish with a few peach slices, because SUMMER!

Hello, I’d like one of these every single day please. 

(P.S. I do have a wonderful winter aperol spritz for when we’re all floating in holiday lights and snow. Bookmark it!)

sparkling rosé aperol spritz

A few other ways I like to fancy things up?

As mentioned above, I love to use a fresh peach slice in the summer instead of the orange slice. OR use it in addition to the orange slice. There’s room for everyone!

I also like to use frozen peach slices for ice cubes.  (more…)

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