Recipe: Cider “Iced” Hard Lemonade

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You may be more familiar with the brands Woodchuck and Wyder’s, the longtime and consumer-familiar brands of Vermont Cider Co.,…

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A classic dish from the United Kingdom, pork stew welcomes the added ingredient of cider. For David Robertson, vice president of marketing at Rootstock Hard Cider in Williamson, New York, he mirrors this cozy January recipe after English celebrity chef Jamie Oliver’s standard.
For Robertson, pork and cider stew hits close to home. “Pork and cider stew is a classic comfort food in the Northeast,” he explains.

With the NFL play-offs in full swing, tailgating and football fare is far from over. Co-owner and cidermaker Wes Mickel of Texas’ Argus Cidery shares his straight-from-Austin rib rub recipe, touting big, smoky flavor and a subtle pinch of fennel that makes it terrific for a halftime meal, regardless if the weather accommodates grilling the ribs outside or frostily suggests baking them in the oven.

From the “Drowned Lands” of Warwick, New York, comes this feisty applejack from Black Dirt Distillery, part of the Doc’s Draft Hard Cider family. Produced from 100 percent Jonagold apples, this brandy is aged a minimum of four years in new charred American oak barrels. Black Dirt was named after the flood plains region of New York, just a little over an hour away from the Big Apple.

‘Tis the season for holiday parties, which means appetizers galore. In other words, prepare to fill up on your favorite sweet and savory finger foods. This cheesy and salty hors d’oeuvre marries two pub grub classics — soft pretzels and pub cheese for spreading and dipping — and allows you to put the spare bottle of cider in your fridge to good use.

A good baking session can have magic healing powers — especially a cider-fueled baking session, which then transcends into cure-all territory. Add cinnamon-spice and everything nice and you’ve got warm and inviting vibes wafting out of your kitchen for hours, just in time for the holiday season. When you’ve had a hard week or are nursing a routine case of the winter blues, go ahead and treat yourself to all of the above over the weekend.

Meat braising season has officially arrived and there are few better bedfellows for this slow-cooking process than cider and pork. True — any alcohol will add to the aromatic and flavor profile, bonding with fat and water molecules, like in a brine, marinade or braise — but cider in particular offers a natural bounty of flavors that intrinsically combine with savory, tender pork create a harmonious dish that surges the palate without being too sweet or spicy.

As far as cruciferous vegetables go, Brussels sprouts can sure get a whole lot of mileage. Roast them up in the oven with nothing but a coat of olive oil and dash of salt, and they can nearly become akin to some sort of healthy miracle French fry in terms of savory, salty snackability. Pan-fry them, sear them, add bacon or lemon or… braise them in cider?
Yes, the cider you have stocked in your fridge may very well be the final component you need to give pan-fried sprouts a lift.

Cooking with cider is nothing new at Carr’s Ciderhouse in Hadley, Massachusetts. The family-run operation has been working with all sorts of ways to incorporate apples of all forms into their cuisine. From winter coleslaw with a cider syrup vinaigrette to BBQ sauce made with an apple cider vinegar, the fruits bring a whole new angle to traditional methods.

Apple-based spirits have a long history in America (think back to colonial days). In fact, two of the oldest distilled spirits in the United States, apple brandy and applejack, have been served during important political gatherings, used as currency in exchange for labor, given as gifts to international leaders and even served as a delicious alternative to water in times before water was clean and convenient.

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