Adventures in Everyday Entertaining
We always have three goals when it comes to determining what beverages to serve when entertaining.
In determining the drinks for our ‘Thankful with Friends’ dinner party, I knew right away what I wanted for one of the non-alcoholic options. Hot Spiced Apple Cider!
Spiced Apple Cider
Combine cider and sugar in a large saucepan at medium heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Add remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer 15 minutes. Strain through a sieve and discard solids. Serve warm.
As for the alcoholic drinks, we are focusing on wine with some beer available as well. It’s always good to offer both a red and a white, regardless of what is being served. Yes, there are foods that go better with one or the other. However, unless you’re doing a specific wine-pairing meal, it is better to have your guests enjoying the wine that they prefer.
It’s also nice to offer a cocktail option. However, it isn’t in our budget to provide a full bar. The perfect solution to this? Creating a signature cocktail for the evening! This works because you are concentrating on one special drink and not having to stock up your entire liquor cabinet. Because we will already be having wonderful spiced apple cider, it seemed perfect to utilize that for the cocktail. So, I turned to Boozed and Infused for one of Alicia’s fantastic infusions!
Caramel-Apple Liquor (for guests to mix with our apple cider) — from Boozed and Infused
Core and slice the apples, and place in a glass jar. Pour vodka over the apples, making sure you have enough to cover. If needed you can add more vodka. Close the jar and place in a dark, cool location. Allow to infuse for 3-4 weeks.
Strain and filter through cheesecloth and coffee filters.
Add caramel syrup (recipe from HomeBrew Underground) One Tablespoon at a time until it reaches your desired taste. Alicia thought that both the apple flavor and caramel flavors were enhanced after chilling the liqueur in the freezer, so err on the side of adding less caramel than you may initially think.