Fall fun-Cranberry Apple Cider Punch

With Pumpkin Spice Latte season in full-swing…I try to avoid Starbucks and Dunkin completely. I’m just not into those syrupy, whipped-cream topped, furry-teeth beverages like I used to be; therefore I don’t actually have a fave fall drink, per se. (Well, I do love my Oktoberfest craft brews this time of year, but I wanted to feature a festive drink that required fall-centric ingredients) A friend saved this Pinterest recipe a while back and it looked very appealing, so off I went searching for the source. Because it requires fresh-pressed cider, autumn is likely the best time of year to find the ingredients. I enjoy regular apple cider, but the cranberry and soda make it holiday worthy!

I have high hopes of making (or at least drinking) this punch during Thanksgiving this year.

cranberry-cider-punch3
photo credit: Mel’s Kitchen Cafe.com

Sparkling Cranberry Apple Cider Punch Recipe:

Yield: Makes about 2 quarts

“The flavor of this punch is best using apple cider that is fresh-pressed, meaning, not the kind that is clear like apple juice – it should look slightly cloudy (but you could use the kind in the juice aisle in a pinch). Also if you can’t find 100% cranberry juice, you can try using a blend but you might want to cut down on the sugar in the recipe.”

*Mel’s Kitchen recommends Vernor’s ginger ale, but I find it too sharp. I prefer good ole Canada Dry, I might try this with Diet if I can find it.

If you want to make some of this ahead of time, combine everything but the ginger ale in the pitcher and refrigerate for several hours. Add the chilled ginger ale when ready to serve.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup fresh cranberries
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar*
  • 4 cups apple cider (see note above), chilled
  • 2 cups ginger ale, chilled
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 cups cranberry juice, chilled
  • Crushed ice

*Too much sugar for me, I’d go to 1/3 cup

Directions:

  1. In a small saucepan, combine the cranberries and water and simmer for 2-3 minutes until the cranberries pop and split. Remove from the heat and stir in the sugar. Let cool to room temperature (or chill in the refrigerator).
  2. In a 2-quart pitcher, pour in the cranberry mixture. Add the apple cider, ginger ale, lemon juice and cranberry juice. Mix.
  3. Serve in cups with crushed ice.

http://www.melskitchencafe.com/sparkling-cranberry-apple-cider-punch/

If punch isn’t your thing, my sister makes an incredibly addicting recipe using whole cranberries rolled in sugar-I’ll save that for my Thanksgiving week post:)

**I’d certainly try this recipe with vodka or even ginger beer, and I actually know someone whose parents make it…hmm, this could be coming together sooner than the holidays!

Beverage inspired melts:

While reviewing Yankee Candle’s new festive collection, I realized that I have quite a few beverage-inspired fragrances, here is a rundown of a few favorites.

Vendor wax:

The Great Gatsby– by House of Phoebe wax, a sophisticated fizzy champagne

20161102_135244
Gin+tonic is the light green sun shape, also loving my cute apple and sage melt

Gin and Tonic-Β Candles from the Keeping Room. Received as a sample from my October order, I thought this fragrance was really different-so refreshing and I must say smells just like a gin and tonic. Must be the juniper berries. I enjoyed it, but the melt only threw for 4 hrs, I got nearly nothing the second day. Should I be curing Carol’s wax?

Yankee Candle:

Hot Buttered Rum- such yummy, buttery goodness! One of my favorite warming winter candles too.

Vanilla Bourbon- Yankee’s biggest fall hit in 2015, it’s an interesting combo of coffee and cream with a wee dram of thick, rich bourbon.

Vanilla Chai– a smooth/spicy retired scent. For some reason this fragrance reminds me of being at my grandma’s house as a child, which is strange because she never made anything similiar…it must be my olfactory memory playing tricks on me.

Apple Cider & Cranberry Twist– I like Yankee’s Apple Cider, but not the Cranberry Twist on its own. Together I thought they’d make a wax blend version of the Cranberry Apple Cider Punch, especially combined with the fizziness of the Great GatsbyπŸ™‚

20161102_135739
The Great Gatsby’s the sparkly golden yellow cup

Plenty more fall fun on the way next week-until then, Cheers!

-jaybird

P.S. This is my 50th blog post! Thanks to all of my lovely followers and friends for reading and sharing.

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