Let’s be honest. No holiday is complete without some bubbles. When the clock strikes midnight, you better have something sparkling in hand to toast the New Year, cheerfully (and tipsily) singing Auld Lang Syne into your champagne flute. But what if you’re not a huge fan of the bubbly? Or what if you just want to ring in the New Year with something a little different this time around? Enter sparkling cider!
The nice thing about incorporating cider into your cocktails is that it is lower proof (read: it has a lower alcohol level) than your more standard cocktails. For this recipe, I like to use a sparkling ginger apple cider, which will add an extra touch of spice to the drink. If you can’t find it, a straight-up sparkling apple cider should work well, too. The cocktail is a distinct cross between a classic Dark and Stormy (which uses rum and ginger beer) and a French 75 (which uses sparkling wine, gin, lemon and simple syrup). The addition of Abbott’s Bitters brings spicy and vanilla notes to the cocktail, while still keeping it light and refreshing. Cheers!
Rum and Sparkling Cider Cocktail
1.5 oz spiced rum
1 oz fresh lime juice
0.5 oz simple syrup*
Sparkling ginger apple cider
Sugar-coated cranberries for garnish
To make simple syrup:
Combine one cup of sugar and one cup of water in a saucepan over high heat. Stir continuously to ensure that all sugar has dissolved. Once boiling, remove from heat immediately and allow to cool completely. Pour into a clean jar and store in the fridge.
To make cocktail:
Combine rum, lime juice and simple syrup in a shaker. Shake over ice and strain into a Moscow Mule mug over ice. Top with sparkling ginger apple cider and an Abbott’s Bitters float.
To make garnish:
Rinse your cranberries in cold water and then roll them in a bowl of sugar. Put cranberries on a plate in a single layer and place in the freezer for a minimum of half an hour (Tip: These cranberries make a lovely garnish for all kinds of holiday libations so feel free to make a bunch, store them in the freezer, and keep them on hand for anytime you’ll be entertaining over the holidays).