I love a good cocktail as much as the next girl, but with baby on the way, it definitely throws a hitch in creating and sampling different booze combinations. So I enlisted the help of one of my friends, Alex Potts, head chef at local gourmet pizzeria, The Pizza Co. You can bet with his sense of taste that this spiced caramel apple cider recipe is delish (I tried it sans alcohol, yum!). Definitely a comfort cocktail, and it also lends itself to being made in large batches, which is perfect for holiday entertaining! I also got another chance to use my lovely West Elm products again, my Shanna Murray collab coasters, which I LOVE, and gold woodgrain plate to serve up the cocktail garnish. Check out how I styled these pieces for the Thanksgiving table HERE.In our house one of our favorite holiday traditions is our annual Festivus party. What the heck is Festivus? If you're aren't sure, I suggest you look it up! It helps us keep it flexible, so we can have it before Christmas, or even after the New Year. It's an all around great time to get together with friends and celebrate. This year, with our little girl on the way we decided to bump up the festivities a bit, and are instead hosting a Friendsgiving celebration. Either way I will be serving this delicious warm cocktail to our guests, I hope they'll love it! This first part of the recipe is optional, but Alex says that it definitely adds more depth to the flavor of the cocktail. He blended his own pumpkin pie spices at home using the following:
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves or allspice
- 1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg (Alex says this is a lot of nutmeg, so hold back to your taste preference).
Combine all the spices and store in an airtight container or baggie until ready for use. Steep two teaspoons of the spice combination per one quart of Louisburg Apple Cider (or you are welcome to try another brand), for about 8 hours for the full depth flavor Alex mentioned**. This sounds like a long time, but just throw it in the crock pot and let your house fill up with delicous smells. Don't forget to stir occasionally. After 8 hours strain out the spices with a metal sieve lined with cheese cloth. When you're ready to serve bring the cider to a simmer, you want it nice and hot.
**Alternatively if you want to take the shorter route you can bring your cider and spices directly to a simmer for 5 minutes. Then strain as indicated above.
- 4-5 oz of the spiced cider
- 1/2 oz Butterscotch Schnapps
- 1 oz Brandy
- Optionally you can add a dollop of whip cream on top and sprinkle some of your spices as a final touch.
Also don't forget, if you love the coasters and plates, pop on over to West Elm and West Elm Market for their 20% off Tabletop sale. Hurry, lots of styles are being snatched up fast so don't miss your chance to buy something lovely for your holiday table!
xo ~Emily (and Alex)
A big thank you again to West Elm for sponsoring this post. All ideas and opinions expressed here are my own (and my collaborator Alex Potts).