Finally, it’s here.
I’m talking about FALL! Many thrilled in the never ending summer, but I gotta say, drinking Mai Tais in late September just really isn’t my thang.
But cozying up fireside in a candlelit family room with a blanket wrapped around me, watching Stranger Things 2, and sipping on this gem?
Now that’s my fall jam.
When I sip the same cocktail three weekends in a row – THREE! – I know I like it. A few weekends ago some good friends visited me, and in preparation for campfire festivities I infused some vodka. This is extremely close to my Fall Martini from last year, with a simple change: Rather than spiraling the fruit, I just chunked up the pear and apple into 1/2 inch pieces and threw them into the ball jar, then poured the vodka over. Despite sitting for a mere 24 hours, and it ended up tasting fantastic. And finally? I added one additional ingredient into the mix.
Look for mulling spices in specialty or health food stores in the tea section. I found mine in our little Rhinelander health food store and snapped it right up. It’s great added to your tea infusion, in hot apple cider, and not surprisingly, in vodka infusions.
Carrie and I sipped this fireside on Friday night after our tour of the Lake Nokomis Cranberry farm.
Turns out orange flavored dried cranberries, apple slices, and orange peel make festive additions as the garnish in this apéritif. Not to mention a nice little snack as you sip.
Dare I say, everyone who sipped wine and beer missed out? They did. This warmed all the way down, the hint of orange from the dried oranges in the mulling spice added an additional fruit layer, and the nutmeg, cinnamon, and clove brought more depth to the party. Sipping it straight might have proven dangerous so we added club soda for some fun bubbles. But you could easily drink it as a martini (as pictured today) or diluted.
Fast forward a week and I sipped this while Mr. Musky and I finally connected after a whirlwind October, and I’m downing it again tomorrow night when friends join us for homemade pizza night. Why not tonight, you ask? Date night with this guy.
We’re shopping this afternoon. Yes, you heard me. Take note men: shop occasionally with your women, then go out to dinner. You’d be surprised at how much fun you’ll have.
Wishing you all a very happy fall Apéritif Friday,
- One apple and one pear, cut into ½ inch pieces
- 1 teaspoon mulling spices (orange peel, cinnamon chips, allspice and clove)
- 3-4 cups vodka (I used Absolut for this, because it's what I had on hand. That said, the better the vodka, the better the infusion)
- Club soda, optional
- Apple slice, pear slice, and/or dried cranberry for garnish
- Infuse the vodka: In a quart sized ball jar, add the apples, pears, and mulling spices.
- Let sit in a cool place for a minimum of 24 hours (maximum three days)
- Strain the vodka, and return it to the ball jar.
- To make a martini: pour 3 oz vodka in a shaker with ice and serve it up with an apple slice, pear slice, and/or orange peel as a garnish. Float an orange flavored dried cranberry on top of the cocktail.
- To make more of a spritzer cocktail, add 2 oz of the infused vodka to a glass with ice and top with club soda.