Drinks

Apple Cider Sangria – Happy Thanksgiving!

October 2017 Fam Din
I have the most vivid memories of these ginormous glass jugs of apple cider we used to get while growing up in Minnesota. The cider was so sweet and fragrant–such a treat that a Little Nam just adored.

October 2017 Fam Din
And when I lived in the Bay Area, seester P and I would meander down to the Ferry Building Farmers Market to get wonderful goodies and snack on some the most delectable produce. Outside the Ferry Building, there’s one particular stand run by the most gorgeous family. I’m not kidding people–they are all stunning! And they’re apple farmers!

In addition to their perfect apple varietals, they sold fresh icy cold, pressed apple cider.

It’s heaven.

October 2017 Fam Din
Those ciders were the inspiration for the Apple Cider Sangria I prepared for our latest Fam Din. Sweet, lightly spiced and packs a hidden punch!

It starts off with a few bottles of white wine, apple cider, fresh fruit, and a few splashes of Calvados (an apple flavored brandy but you can substitute with any brandy/cognac of your choice). After the sangria refrigerates for a few hours to get the flavors partying together, it’s topped with a bit of sparkling wine for some effervescence.

October 2017 Fam Din
Since you can make it in big batches, it’s the perfect cocktail to serve up at your next holiday gathering. Or if you’re an apple cider junkee like me, just whip up a pitcher for yourself to sip on.

Cheers Friends and Happy Thanksgiving!

___________________________________________
Apple Cider Sangria

Ingredients:

2 medium sized apples, diced
1 pear, diced
2 750ml bottles Sauvignon Blanc (or white wine of your choice)
3 cups apple cider (fresh pressed-the better!)
½ cup Calvados (or your choice of brandy or cognac)
1⁄3 cup orange juice
2-3 cinnamon sticks
ice
1 750ml sparkling wine

In a large container, combine the apples, pears, white wine and apple cider, Add in the Calvados, OJ and cinnamon sticks. Cover the pitcher and refrigerate overnight or at least 4-5 hours.

Fill glasses with ice and pour in the sangria. Pour 2-3 ounces of chilled sparkling wine in each glass and gently stir the contents. Garnish with additional apple slices and cinnamon sticks.

Cheers!

Advertisements
Drinks

Apple Moscow Mules — SKOL!

Apple Moscow Mules

By now y’all may have recognized my rather intense allegiance and unwavering devotion to my sports teams. Sure….some may call it an obsession but I like to think of it as loyalty.

I love my VIKINGS and TROJANS. I bleed Purple and Gold AND Cardinal and Gold…..simultaneously!

Apple Moscow Mules

I’m a proud, proud fan.

I talk the talk… I wear the gear….and I got all the goodies.

It’s how we do it.

Apple Moscow Mules

For years, Duck House Sports has been fulfilling all my fanatical needs to ensure that there’s never a doubt who I root for. And I’m not talking about just your basic stuff you can pick up at your local sports store.

We’re talking about Drinkware, Kitchenware, Cookware, Candles, Electronics, and even Ottomans—all printed with the logos/seals of my beloved Vikings and Trojans!

They mean business people!!!

Apple Moscow Mule

My latest acquisition that I am truly OBSESSED with are these freaking awesome Copper Moscow Mule Mugs that have the Vikings logo etched into them. Anyone who knows me, knows how much this gal appreciates a Moscow Mule. So when it’s served in a true copper mug with her beloved NFL team–it’s cause for celebration!

Get those parades going!

To break in my new mugs, I decided to make a few rounds of Moscow Mules….but with an Autumn twist to fit the season. And what is more Fall than apples?

Apple Moscow Mules

Instead of plain vodka, I used a few ounces of apple flavored vodka and added some apple cider to the party. I opted for the Gala Apple flavored vodka from Stolichnaya which is a seasonal item for them. It has a light fragrance and I adore it. But one thing remains true for this mule version as with the old–you’ve got to use a ginger beer with a bite. If not, it’ll be way too sweet and that’s just is really no bueno.

If you’re wondering, I’m not being compensated by Duck House Sports for singing their praises. I just really LOVE all their stuff so if you admire a sports team the way I love my Vikes and Trojans, go check them out so you can step up your fan game.

Have a great weekend Friends and SKOL!!!!!!!

_________________________________

Apple Moscow Mule
Serves 1

Ingredients:

ice
2 ounces quality apple flavored vodka
2 ounces apple cider
1/2 ounce lime juice
4 ounces ginger beer
1-2 dashes Angostura Bitters
apple slices, mint sprigs and lime slices for garnish

Fill a Mule mug (or glass of your choice) with ice. Pour the vodka, apple cider and lime juice over the ice. Slowly pour the ginger beer into the mug and stir. Add the dashes of Angostura Bitters to the top and garnish with apple slices, lime slices and mint sprigs.

Skol!

Drinks · Sunday Family Dinner

A Week of Holiday Cocktails – The Spiced Apple Pie

The Spiced Apple Pie

I barely survived Thanksgiving weekend.

After a marathon meal and 18+ hours of Black Friday shopping (no, I’m not exaggerating), my sibs and I dived into a delish fall/harvest themed Family Dinner.

November 2013 Family Dinner

Since we were all consumed with preparing Thanksgiving dishes (times two for my sibs since they also had Thanksgiving with their in-laws), we wanted a menu that was pretty low maintenance.

For starters, we had a charcuterie and cheese platter to munch on. Then we moved on to roasted bone marrow – utterly decadent over toasted baguette slices and then topped with an herbaceous gremolata. For the entree, a slow-braised, saffron beef ragu. It’s a lovely spin on my seester’s delectable ossobuco that is slow cooked over a few hours. After the initial searing, you let the beef do it’s own magic with little babysitting. Perfect for recuperating shoppers. We served the rich ragu over a quick, yet utterly creamy parmesan polenta from Ina Garten.

The Spiced Apple Pie

To add some veggies to the dinner, I made a salad from dark hearty greens and topped them with homegrown pomegranates (from my seester’s in-laws) and thin starfruit slices from our mother’s old tree that now resides at our auntie’s house. I also threw in some Asian pear slices, goat cheese and a drizzle of a light Dijon based vinaigrette.

And for dessert (because there’s always room for dessert!), big sis made spiced-white wine poached Bosc pears that we enjoyed with vanilla ice cream. Quite a wonderful way to end the meal.

The Spiced Apple Pie

With a fall/harvest themed dinner, I created a cocktail that celebrated the flavors of the season. For this- and to kick off our Week of Holiday Cocktails, I’m delighted to share with you all the Spiced Apple Pie. It’s made from cider, warm spices and spiced rum. Truly apple pie in liquid form—with boozey goodness, of course 🙂

Another Family Dinner done and in the books and I can’t wait for December’s Family Dinner where all 5 Nguyen Siblings (and their fams) will be present! Totally a Win-Nguyen!

And here’s to the start of our Week of Holiday Cocktails!

__________________________________

The Spiced Apple Pie
Serves 2

Ingredients:

ice
8 ounces unfiltered, apple cider
2½ ounces dark spiced rum
½ teaspoon fresh lemon juice
pinch freshly grated nutmeg
pinch ground allspice
pinch ground clove
dash vanilla extract
cinnamon sticks
apple slices

Fill a large cocktail shaker with ice and add all the ingredients except the cinnamon sticks & apple slices. Shake vigorously for 15-20 seconds and strain the contents between 2 glasses that have been filled with ice. Garnish with cinnamon sticks and apple slices. Cheers!