Fall is hot apple cider season. Cozy up to this re-imagined version, spiked with cardamom bitters and a unique chicory vodka.
Weaving through early fall foliage, trees not yet blazing, their autumnal colors simmering beneath the faded greens and yellows of summer’s end, I made my way north. With a long weekend on my hands it was an easy last-minute decision, trading in the still-hot Philly streets for the cool relief of Vermont, then New Hampshire, and then, finally, the familiar embrace of home. Maine. Just a bag of clothes thrown in the backseat of my beat-up hatchback and a few maps loaded on to my phone…just in case service cut out, as it tends to do.
Autumn in New England is unlike anywhere else this time of year. The scent of earth and woodsmoke mingles with the inevitable smell of apples being pressed. Keep your eyes wide and you’ll likely even see a few wild apple trees heavy with fruit dotting the roadside, vestiges of the ancient farms and orchards that once populated the land (if you do, I urge you to pull over and pick some). As I always do, before arriving at my destination, I stopped off to see what my friends at Tamworth Distilling have been brewing, their seasonal crop of spirits forever shifting and adapting with what happens to be growing at the moment. And as usual, I discovered something new to tote home to my bar cart. Once solely used as a coffee replacement, Art in the Age’s Chicory spirit is dark and earthy, the epitome of fall. When combined with a fresh pressing of a close neighbor’s heirloom black baldwin apples and a dash of warming cardamom, this spirit transforms into a robust fall cocktail that heats from the inside out. Perfect for cold autumn nights.
For a taste of fall wherever you are, grab whatever variety of cider happens to be local to you and mix up this fresh take on a fall classic.
2 parts local apple cider
1 part Art in the Age Chicory Root
Cardamom bitters to taste
Cinnamon sticks (one per serving)
Combine the apple cider and cinnamon sticks in a small saucepan on the stove and heat until just before boiling. Divide into mugs and add 1 part AITA Chicory spirit and a splash of cardamom bitters to taste. Squeeze in a little lemon and serve with a lemon wedge for garnish. Cozy up and enjoy!
+ Autumn at home – what is your favorite part? Please share!