Johnny Cocktail has been VERY busy!

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Thursday, November 4, 2010

Cocktail of the Month: Autumn Harvest Cider

In a Shot:  This month's homemade cranberry juice cocktail based with applejack, orange liqueurs/syrups and hard cider gives dedication to the first "Harvest Cider" from two years ago.

In less than a year of turning twenty one, the current legal age of buying and consuming alcohol in America, I created my very first cocktail the 24th of July, 2004.  It was called Pairaidies (Pronounced pair-o-deez), a play on several words such as "parody" as I've always been a fan of comedy and music reinvention.  What it really meant was "paradise".  In Russian it translates RAI.  In German/Italian it's spelled PARADIES (Par-Ah-Deece).  Beyond the pairing of words it's also a play on a PAIR of cordials from Germany and Italy.  The final cocktail was a blend of Stolichnaya Vanilla, German Barenjager, Tuaca Italiano Liqueur and Pineapple Juice.  HOW SWEET DOES THAT SOUND????

Of course, now that I've had a chance to expand my palate, I've acquired a far sharper tongue, acknowledging the fact that my very first cocktail is nothing but four very sweet things put together.  The garnish was two store jarred maraschino cherries to play off the "pair" thing (regardless of the fact that it's yet ANOTHER sweet thing that had nothing to do with the drink).

After that I had a drink too creamy, next too spicy. then too 'never should belong together so what was I thinking' and all of that stuff before I started show casing some serious taste buds.  Then I began working at a restaurant that encouraged pairing food with drink in a seasonal celebration.  From their I started emulating food to the drink as far as pairing flavors.  Then I was offered an opportunity at Food Matters to make a "Cocktail for the Month".  Something that represented the flavors of the season, as I showed interest in cocktail making.  Even in this moment I was still amaturing a concept, however, it was tasty and people enjoyed it and were excited to pay the 7 dollars asked for it.  I printed a copy of the menu and gave it to my parents.

That cocktail, the Fall Harvest Cider was a combination of vodka, cranberry simple syrup, organic cider and a hard cider with candied "syruped" cranberries.  It tasted so much like juice, I could barely keep up with this flavored syrup.  It was the beginnings of a great year.  And another! 

Today, it's the second year to the date of the beginning of this program and so I give an updated homage to a revolutionary cocktail in my life and Food Matters.  In respect, it's called the Autumn Harvest Cider.  Utilizing the candied cranberries for garnish as well as the hard cider, only this time I chose to use a domestic apple brandy, Cointreau, and a homemade cranberry juice.  I also add a splash of simple syrup made with the zest of orange peels to not only echo the liqueur of choice but to cut against the REAL tartness of genuine cranberries with sugar coated orange peels for an additional topping.

So here's to the cocktail where this whole thing started, to the cocktail that began the monthly libation, to the Autumn Harvest Cider and to many more drinks to come!


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