Looking for a new cocktail to serve this holiday season? Something equally good when served cold in a cocktail glass, or warm in a cup? How about the Autumn Spice, a drink that features the sweetness of fresh apple cider, the fresh tang of lemon, and the gentle, yet unmistakeably boozy and spicy kick of Domaine de Canton ginger liqueur?
When I first came across the recipe for the Autumn Spice, I was struck by how similar its particular combination of flavors was to the Hot Apple-Ginger Toddy (cider, honey, lemon, ginger, and booze) I was so hooked on last winter.
But what the Hot Apple-Ginger Toddy accomplishes in five ingredients, the Autumn Spice makes quick, efficient work of in three (cider, lemon juice, ginger liqueur).
The secret? The Domain de Canton ginger liqueur does triple duty. It provides:
- Sweetness (no need for added honey)
- Gingery spiciness (no need for the fresh stuff)
- And, last, but not least, booziness (although in a lightened-up way: weighing in at a gentle 28 percent alcohol, Domaine de Canton doesn't pack the same punch as most rums or whiskies, which sit at 40-45 percent or so. For this reason, the recipe suggests an optional extra shot of a dark spirit, to taste).
I tried the recipe two different ways: mulled and chilled. The verdict? Equally tasty hot and cold, but the mulled version was just what the doctor ordered for the sore throat I've been nursing this week. A keeper.
Autumn Spice (adapted from Domaine de Canton, used with permission)
2 ounces Domaine de Canton Ginger Liqueur
a shot of dark rum or whiskey (optional - I left this out)
2 ounces fresh apple cider
1/2 ounce fresh lemon juice
cinnamon stick for optional garnish
For a cold drink: Add all ingredients to an ice-filled highball glass and stir [Note: I wanted to serve the drink straight up, so instead shook all ingredients in an ice-filled cocktail shaker and strained them into a cocktail glass.]
For a hot drink: Simmer cider in a small saucepan on the stove (add a cinnamon stick if desired). Add fresh lemon juice and Domaine de Canton and continue to heat briefly. Pour into a small cup or mug.
What cocktails will you be serving this holiday season?
Nora Maynard is a longtime home mixologist and an occasional instructor at NYC's Astor Center. She is a contributor to The Business of Food: Encyclopedia of the Food and Drink Industries and is the recipient of the American Egg Board Fellowship in culinary writing at the Writers' Colony at Dairy Hollow. She previously covered food and drink in film at The Kitchn in her weekly column, The Celluloid Pantry.
(Images: Nora Maynard)