The season of holidays is upon us with dining and drinking and general merriment. I’m always looking for something new and a little festive that I can serve to my rotating crowd of guests, and this year I’m getting some help from Abe Goldman-Armstrong at Portland’s Cider Riot®. Abe is a fascinating combination of serious apple-driven cider guy (in high school he worked for Alan Foster at his much missed White Oak Cidery) and serious craft beer guy. It’s his playful innovative side that has generated this season’s go to beverage – Rudy’s Cranberry Hibiscus Cider.
A spritely combination of cold-pressed cranberry juice, North West apple juice, and organic hibiscus flowers, Rudy’s is bright and lively with a clean fruitiness that just calls out to be put into a holiday cocktail. I pumped up the fruitiness by combining it with sloe gin (I used Spirit Works’) and added a little orange Curaçao, ginger bitters and lime as a nod to the cranberry sauce that graces my Thanksgiving table. The result is a little fizzy and a little boozy, but still restrained enough in the alcohol department that you won’t risk having your guests do a face plant in the mashed potatoes.
Rudy’s Holiday Cheer
- 1 ½ ounce sloe gin
- ½ ounce orange Curaçao
- 5 dashes ginger bitters
- 6 ounces Rudy’s Cranberry Hibiscus Cider
- 1 wedge of fresh lime
Mix the sloe gin, Curaçao, ginger bitters, and cider in a low ball glass. Squeeze in the lime juice, then add a few ice cubes. Celebrate!