Fall officially arrived yesterday. Apparently winter will be here this weekend, at least briefly, so Riley and I enjoyed the afternoon by playing in the sandbox. It was lovely feeling the slight chill in the air and watching my almost 2 year old examine bugs, worms and the difference between wet and dry sand. Sometimes I have to remind myself how great precious these moments are and before I know it he'll be less interested in spending time with me and tossing sand out of the sandbox.
This weekend, I'm hoping we can enjoy at least a few minutes outside, perhaps hanging out at an apple orchard or enjoying lunch at the park. If we're really lucky, Brad and I will get a movie night where we can sit down with one of these tasty spiced apple and cranberry martinis, a big bowl of popcorn, and a warm blanket. Sounds perfect to me.
I love the color of this cocktail alongside the delicate green apple garnish. It's festive and fun for the upcoming holidays but simple enough to make any time you want to enjoy the flavors of fall. A simple spiced apple simple syrup made with rich apple cider and mulling spices makes this so much more sophisticated than an appletini.
What are your plans for enjoying this October weekend? I'm always looking for new ideas to help us enjoy the season even more!
Spiced Apple + Cranberry Martini
- 2 oz unsweetened cranberry juice
- 1 1/2 oz vodka
- 1/2 oz cointreau
- 1/2 oz spiced apple syrup (recipe follows)
- fresh lime juice
- Place all the ingredients (except the lime juice) in a shaker filled with ice. Shake until thoroughly chilled, 20-30 seconds. Pour into a cocktail glass and serve with a squeeze of lime juice and a slice of green apple on the rim.
Spiced apple syrup
- 1 cup apple cider
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon mulling spices
- Combine the cider and sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat.
- Put the mulling spices in a sachet (use cheese cloth and tie with cooking twine). You can also put the spices in the cider mixture loose and then strain them out when it is done cooking.
- Bring the cider mixture to a low simmer and cook about 5 minutes until the sugar dissolves and the liquid begins to thicken just slightly.
- Remove from the heat and let steep with the spices for another 5-10 minutes.
- Transfer to a jar. Cool completely before using.