Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Ice Cider Cocktail with Spicy Chile Apple Chips

Here is a random list of things that you will never find on the dinner table at Casa Trix: apple pie, apple sauce, apple strudel, apple dumplings, apple cake, caramel covered apples ... Sensing a pattern here? Yes, it's true: While everyone else in my hemisphere is busy extolling the virtues of freshly-picked autumn apples and scheming ways to stuff them into everything from pastry crusts to pork tenderloin, I am left somewhat cold.  It's not that I hate them - I just don't get all worked up about them. For me, the very idea of apples elicits a resounding "meh."

So you can imagine my initial blankness when the theme of the September 5 Star Makeover - hosted as always by Natasha of 5 Star Foodie and Lazaro of Lazaro Cooks - was announced. Apples. Oh my.

Well, I may not be a big fan of apples in their solid form, but cider is another story. And hard cider? Now we're talking.

In fact, the timing of this challenge turned out perfectly, as I was invited to go on a press trip to the beautiful Charlevoix region of Quebec in early September, where I was introduced to ice cider - or cidre de glace - during a visit to the Ciderie Pedneault. Known in the U.S. as ice apple wine, it's the cider equivalent of ice wine. Think of it as a more intense and layered cider, with the added bonus of being alcoholic. I was, alas,  only able to bring back a tiny sample of the ice cider from Ciderie Pedneault, but I was inspired to get a larger quantity in the duty free shop at the airport:
Note that adorable little shot glass - I picked up a set at the Ciderie Pedneault. The painting on the glass is by a local Charlevoix artist.
So. Ice cider procured, all that remained was to come up with a cocktail to do it justice. The cider is quite sweet, so I wanted something with a bit of a kick, and what has more kick than rye whiskey? The drink is rounded out with the punch of homemade ginger ale.

To pair with my sweet and refreshing drink, I decided to make a bar snack - a spicy version of apple chips, studded with chile flakes:

Don't you just love my Alice in Wonderland glasses? They were a birthday present from a dear friend:
Ice Cider Cocktail

2 ounces rye whiskey
2 ounces ice cider
1 ounce ginger water*
1/2 ounce simple syrup
seltzer water

Combine the whiskey, cider, ginger water, and simple syrup in an ice filled shaker. Shake vigorously and pour into a highball glass filled with crushed ice, filling the glass 3/4 full. Top with seltzer and stir. Garnish with an apple chip (recipe below). 

*For the ginger water, simmer 1 cup of fresh grated ginger in 2 cups of water, with 3 cloves for 5 - 10 minutes. Cover and let steep for a half hour. Strain and cool.

Chile Apple Chips

2 Honeycrisp apples
lemon juice
peanut oil
chile flakes

Slice the apples as thinly as posible with a mandoline. Brush with lemon juice, then peanut oil. Sprinkle chile flakes and bake on parchment lined cookie sheets at 225 degrees F for 2 hours. Remove and allow to cool on racks. The chips will get crisp as they cool. 

The verdict? I won't be making apple pie any time soon, but I really loved the combination of sweet and spicy apple chips with the refreshing ice cider cocktail. 

Want to see everyone else's apple creations? Follow the link below and check out the round up on Friday. If anyone can convince me to get excited about apples, it's the 5 Star Makeover crew.


  1. I am not crazy about apples either. This looks quite refresing and I just love that glass....

  2. I'm in love with the glassware, both of them :)
    The photos are so beautiful and crisp, just like your chips.
    Super contribution to the makeover!

  3. Charlevoix is gorgeous isn't it? Love this alcohol and you created a great cocktail with it. And I came so close to doing the apple chips too lol.

  4. Apples are a favorite of mine... but I would willingly never eat them again for a set of those glasses. Seriously, just fantastic. Mixing cocktails with apple booze is always a winner in my book. Apples and whiskey are a natural pair. Like you and me.

  5. Killer. This is friggen awesome. I LOVE those glasses!

  6. Oh, wow! I don't drink alcohol, and the one thing I miss is ice wine. A cider equivalent pretty much sounds like the next best thing since sliced bread to me...that cocktail sounds pretty fantastic.

    Love the glasses too! Alice somehow has a very Halloween-ish look, which is perfect.

  7. The perfect fall cocktail. Love!

  8. Ice apple wine sounds heavenly! Love the spicy apple chips too - great snack!

  9. Apples are in my blood - can't help it. Orchards are everywhere up here.
    Really like the spicy apple chip idea - and loved the drink pairing. (I think I would need one for each hand)

  10. Very clever for a non-apple lover. Now me, I love apples. I feel naked if there are apples in my fridge. But I love what you did with them.

  11. Spicy and sweet! Yes, yes. Where'd you find those great cocktail glasses? So cute.

  12. Such a refreshing drink and that spicy apple chip really tops it off so well! Looks awesome.

  13. Yeah, I love apples... especially as hard cider. I always wanted to make my own in the snow-pack but never got around to it. Once my St Bernard dug around the apple trees in the snow hunting a muskrat and the smell that came out of the fermenting apples was intoxicating... heaven.

    I am also loving the spicy apple chips... a great idea Trix!

    The pictures are especially good... love Alice's glass.

  14. Love it and the theory behind it ... when you don't like the food, drink! Good way to meet the challenge!

  15. This was one of my favorite additions to the challenge. I'm very tempted to give the ice cider cocktail a try. Very well done! LOVE the photos =]

  16. I love both your glasses, they are too fun! What a great idea to make the apple chips spicy:-) Take care, Terra

  17. Way to rise above Trix. You are a true pro. I'd take a glass or two with some apple chips this weekend for some me time. You always come through...=)

    By the way, glad to hear that my abject frustration is a source of entertainent for you. As it is for Michelle at home...=)

  18. I LOVE, LOVE that shot glass and your apple chips sound fantastic!!!

  19. Hi Trixie,
    I feel the same way about apples as you. Though I did make applesauce this year. Apple cider both hard and warm are one of my favorite drinks. But so is Calvados-I love it! Your cocktail is what I would love to be drinking this autumn and winter. Love, love it!

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