pressing issues…taste of fall, in the South, in a glass.

apple season

Let’s get to the core of the matter here, we’re talking about apples.  It’s October and they are plentiful.  Fuji, Staymen, Rome, Winesap, Jonagold, Gala, Red Delicious, Mutsu.  Sounds like  the fruit version of “Fifty Shades of Apples”.

After a beautiful Fall weekend in the NC/Virginia Mountains, I simply have apple on my mind.  We spent a fabulous morning in the orchards, and to rest my feet I sat by the fire in the afternoon and caught up on some of my magazines.  Garden & Gun has become one of my favorites, and while drooling over half the contents I happened upon a recipe for apple cider cinnamon syrup.  Can you say meant to be?  The recipe was given as part of a bigger recipe, one for a cocktail called a Sir Isaac Newton, made with apple brandy.  It sounds really good, but I can’t stop thinking about how the apple cider syrup might taste with one of my local favorites by Piedmont Distilleries, Cat Daddy, a spiced moonshine.  Well, I was so curious that I sampled it.  If you think spiced moonshine, sweet with the syrup and tangy with lemon is an enticing combination, give it a shake.  Sweet enough as an after dinner drink, and a good pre-dinner sipper as well.  For anyone wanting some different non-alcoholic options, I also have some fresh hibiscus flowers, and I think a cinnamon apple hibiscus tea sounds pretty enticing on a chilly morning, too.

Any who…the apple cider cinnamon syrup is a breeze to make, it really is just a matter of reducing the cider and adding cinnamon.  Watch it carefully though, this would be a sticky mess even a brillo pad would shy away from if it started to burn.  The recipe follows, but naturally I had to adjust because I thought it sounded like it made more than I needed…and I am out of cinnamon sticks.  So, I added a dash of ground cinnamon to one cup of cider, and the results yielded a little over 1 ounce of great syrup.  The perfect amount for a drink later on tonight.

Pressing issues, the demands of the daily grind, all the curve balls life can throw our way.  Stop, enjoy, relish the moment of the season, and right now that is apple season, southern comfort in a glass.  Enjoy, the best of food and life!

Apple Cider -Cinnamon Syrup,

courtesy of Garden & Gun Oct/Nov. 2014

To make apple cider-cinnamon syrup, bring 4 cups of good quality apple cider to a boil over medium heat.  Reduce the heat to medium-low, add a cinnamon stick, and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, for about 25 minutes, or until the cider has reduced to the consistency of syrup.  Bring to room temperature, then refrigerate in a tightly covered container.  This yeidls about 4 ounces.

apple cider syrup

(Pictured above, apple cider cinnamon syrup once reduced, now cooling.)

“The Mac Daddy Apple Sipper”

courtesy of Julia Chandler


1 oz apple cider cinnamon syrup

juice of 2 fresh lemons, or about 1 oz

1 1/2 oz Cat Daddy

2 generous dashes Angostura bitters


Combine the syrup, lemon juice, Cat Daddy and bitters over ice in a cocktail shaker.

Shake vigorously, then pour with ice into a highball glass or mason jar, preferably chilled.

Garnish with lemon twist, or, as I happened to have fresh hibiscus flowers I used that.

The Julia CHandler fixin's

Sir Isaac Newton,

courtesy of Garden & Gun Oct/Nov. 2014


1 oz, apple cider-cinnamon syrup

1/2 oz lemon juice

1 1/2 oc apple brandy

2 dashes Angostura bitters

1 very thin apple slice for garnishing


Combine the syrup, lemon juice, brandy, and bitters in a cocktail shaker with ice.

Shake vigorously, then strain into a chilled cocktail glass.  Float the apple slice on the drink for a garnish, and serve.

final product, the julia chandler

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