Whether or not you want to admit it, and likely regardless of where you are right now, there is still a serious chill in the air. With a light at the end of the tunnel – the first day of spring is March 20 — we look forward to warming weather and all the goodness that comes with the changing seasons.
In the mean time, warming from the inside-out can be a quick fix, and a toasty cider sipper is just the trick.
In this rosy refresher titled the Red Queen, sweet-tart cider like Shacksbury’s Rosé lends a subtle acidic kick — no citrus required, except as adornment. Made in a partnership with New York-based restaurant Sunday In Brooklyn, the rosé features 100 percent Vermont-grown, fresh-pressed apples from Shackbury’s main squeeze Sunrise Orchards. The cider is aged on local Marquette grape skins post fermentation to bring on the flavor, color and tannin.
To make multiple servings, consider brewing a teapot-ful of hibiscus tea, then assemble the other ingredients in individual tea cups, garnish draped on the edge of each cup. At the last minute, top up each cup with hot tea. Don’t worry about absolute precision; tea is a remarkably forgiving ingredient.
Service note: We had a blast using our editor’s grandmother’s English tea sets for this photo shoot, but we’ve also had success finding beautiful tea cups for a cider-fied tea party from second-hand stores, yard sales and online.
The Red Queen
Recipe by Kara Newman
Makes 1 cocktail
1 hibiscus tea bag
4 ounces hot water
2 ounces Shacksbury Rosé, or more to taste
¾ ounce simple syrup (1 part sugar stirred in 1 part hot water)
1 ounce gin
1 dash Peychaud’s bitters
Garnish: orange peel
In a plastic measuring cup with a handle, steep the tea bag in hot water for 2 to 3 minutes. Meanwhile, in a teacup, combine remaining ingredients (except the garnish). Add hot tea (remove tea bag) and stir to combine. Garnish with the orange peel.