For those of us who grew up elsewhere, Autumn in Phoenix can feel insulated from every sweet familiarity of the changing season. Just as a stomach of any person will hum in the absence of food, some part of us recognizes the lack of cooler air when we breathe, the still-stored raincoats, the streets not blanketed in yellow and red. It’s a similar emptiness and for some of us it has to be filled, at least partially, by something distinctly of the Fall. We chose apples.
Above are some pictures of our visit to Apple Annie’s Orchards a few weeks ago, and a recipe for our fresh pressed (by us!) Spiced Apple Cider Mimosas, which we’ll be serving after our flights until we’re out of cider!
Spiced Apple Cider Mimosas
1 tsp brown sugar + a little for the rim
1 ounce bourbon
4 ounces sparkling wine, we used AZ Hops and Vines’ Fluffer
2 ounces fresh spiced apple cider
Combine the brown sugar and bourbon in a glass, add the sparkling wine, and top with the spiced cider. Start your day.
If you’re interested in pressing your own cider, there are some fairly simple methods you can try at home without investing in a costly press. Our favorite is made with a standard food-grade bucket, and if you want to go cheap super cheap and easy, you can use this method which only requires a (clean) industrial mop bucket.
As for spicing up your cider once you’ve made it, just go for the holiday standards: orange peel, cloves, allspice, cardamom pods, and cinnamon sticks. Combine all of the above with your cider and a couple tablespoons of fresh lemon juice, bring to a boil and then reduce to simmer for about 3o minutes. Refrigerate.