I’m really weird about apples. It pains me to tell you this, because I’d prefer you think I’m normal, but I can eat raw apples only when they’re quartered and peeled. Apple skin…I can’t even really talk about it. In addition, all apples consumed by me must be crunchy. Seriously crunchy.
Anyway, the peeled preference means I’d have to whip out a pocketknife to eat an apple in public, and I’m sadly deprived of the joy of going apple picking and biting into the fruit while standing in a lovely orchard on a brisk October day, the wind blowing through my hair.
As for the textural preference, as of a few weeks ago, the only varieties I paid any attention to were Fujis–so crisp!–and Honeycrisps–also firm, but a little more tart.
But then I heard about the SweeTango apple, a cross between the Honeycrisp and Zestar, which is bred by the Next Big Thing co-op, a four-member cooperative of growers from five states in the U.S. (Washington, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan and New York), and some parts of Canada. Amazingly, SweeTangos have become a third type of apple I can actually enjoy! Woo!
The apple breed has been around to please crunchy apple lovers since 2009, and now there’s cider available here on the east coast too. (Cider, of course, has delightful apple taste with none of the dumb textural issues, so it’s right up my alley.)
In order to help spread the word about SweeTango’s citrusy premium cider, I created this awesome cocktail that’s at once sweet and tangy. It’s also boozy.
I love how the earthy rye mingles with the fruity apple brandy and the light, fresh cider. There’s a bit of sugar and lemon to amplify the apple cider’s sweet and tangy flavors (notice a theme?). Though I stir the drink with ice cubes before straining it into an old-fashioned glass, there’s something delightfully warming about this glass of rye, calvados, and cider. I can imagine coming in from the cold we’ve been having and sipping one before stuffing myself silly at Thanksgiving dinner.
I wrote this sponsored post in partnership with SweeTango. You can find SweeTango online on pinterest, twitter, and facebook, and you can get your hands on the cider at Wegmans, Fairway, Agata and Valentina, and even more stores. Thanks for supporting the sponsors that help inspire BGSK’s content!
Sweet Cider Cocktail
As you can see, the proportions here are 1:1:1 cider to brandy to rye, so double and triple accordingly. Just be sure to multiply the lemon and sugar too. Maybe pair the sweet-tangy cocktail with lemon-apple cake?
3 tablespoons (1 1/2 ounces) SweeTango cider
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
3 tablespoons (1 1/2 ounces) calvados or other apple brandy
3 tablespoons (1 1/2 ounces) rye whisky (I use Templeton)
2 dashes bitters
Apple slices, for garnish
In a mixing cup or measuring cup, combine the cider with the sugar and lemon juice and whisk with a fork to dissolve the sugar. Add the calvados, rye, and bitters, then add 3 ice cubes. Shake or stir, then strain into an old-fashioned glass or tumbler. Garnish with an apple slice on the rim.