This post comes courtesy of Anne Kenealy, Scissors & Sage’s number one fan and frequent behind-the-scenes editor. This isn’t her first post on the blog, although her last how-to was much more technical than the cocktail recipe that follows. She’s made this drink for many a guest, and everyone always seems to enjoy it. Make it at your next gathering, and it’ll be a crowd-pleaser!
From Anne: Every autumn around apple-picking season, this cocktail returns to our regular rotation here at the international headquarters of Scissors & Sage. Its sweet-tart zing makes it an almost irresistible tonic when the weather begins to cool, and it’s great in big batches for Halloween (hence its name) or Thanksgiving.
Non-alcoholic ginger beer has been a favorite cocktail mixer of ours since Moscow mules came back into vogue. Its snappy heat and carbonation allow it to blend well with neutral liquors like vodka and to balance stronger, smokier whiskeys. When we mixed it with fresh apple cider, the sweetness of the cider was cut by the spice of the ginger, and we knew we’d found a perfect match.
Spooky Sinner Cider Cocktail
Ingredients for two cocktails:
- 3 oz. vodka
- 6 oz. fresh apple cider
- 4 oz. ginger beer (We use the non-alcoholic Reed’s Extra Ginger Brew.)
- Two handfuls of ice
- Two thin slices of apple (for garnish)
Add a handful of ice to a rocks glass and slip a slice of apple down the side of the glass, so that it’ll be visible when the drink is poured. Add 1.5 oz. vodka and 3 oz. apple cider. Top with 2 oz. ginger beer and stir to mix.
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ALL PHOTOS TAKEN BY ANNE KENEALY
There’s a specialty foods shop in my hometown called Susan Lawrence. One summer when I was visiting my parents, my mom introduced me to their frozen lemon iced tea. Now, I’m not usually one for iced tea. But this… This was a game changer.
This drink combines unsweetened iced tea and lemon sorbet. The sorbet replaces traditional ice cubes, and it naturally sweetens the iced tea as it melts. Isn’t that genius? It tastes truly amazing, and is a super fun drink–perfect for when friends or family come over, or just when you need something sweet after a long, hot day. I’ve finally set out to create my own version of Susan Lawrence’s frozen lemon iced tea. While I don’t know exactly what goes into theirs, I can say that it tastes very similar!
When Anne and I were in Chicago last week we met up with her friends Clare and Megan, who were also in town visiting family. They live in Santa Cruz, California, and grow an incredible lemon tree in their yard. Clare gives us lemons every time we see her! We’ve already used one to make tasty lemon squares, and next up is this lemon sorbet. Thanks, Clare!
(Store-bought lemon vs. Clare’s lemon)
Frozen Lemon Iced Tea
Active time: 15 minutes | Inactive time: 3+ hours | Yields: 6 cups iced tea and 3 cups lemon sorbet
Sun Tea ingredients:
- 2 bags Tazo Earl Grey or other black tea
- 6 cups water
In a clear glass bowl or pitcher, combine six cups of tap water and two bags of Tazo Earl Grey tea. Set in a sunny spot, and let sit for three hours. When the tea is sufficiently brewed, cover and transfer to the refrigerator.
Lemon Sorbet ingredients:
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup fresh-squeezed lemon juice
- 1 tbs lemon zest
Bring sugar and water to a boil in a small saucepan. Set aside, and let cool completely. Combine simple syrup, lemon, and zest, and pour mixture into the bowl of an ice cream machine. Churn sorbet for 25-30 minutes, and then transfer to an airtight container to freeze for 2+ hours.
To make frozen lemon iced tea, pour iced tea into a glass until half full. Use an ice cream scoop to place 3-4 scoops of sorbet in the glass. Swirl with a straw and enjoy!
- Sun tea is easily customizable. Use more tea bags, let it sit it the sun longer, or add herbs to the water. It’s up to you!
- If you do not have an ice cream machine, you can combine the simple syrup, lemon juice, and zest in an airtight container and place it in the freezer. Stir the mixture every 30 minutes or so for two hours.
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