5 Hard Cider Cocktails to Try

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By itself a good hard cider is a wonderfully refreshing, mildly intoxicating beverage that is a terrific summer brew alternative for non-lovers of beer (me). Add a little this, a little that, and you have a cocktail with some extra zing, more flavor dimensions and enough volume for multiple large sips while you stand around the grill. Here are five hard cider cocktail recipes to try in the upcoming months.

5. Oriental Peacock. The perfect pairing for chicken and shrimp teriyaki skewers or just those frozen vegetarian egg rolls from Trader Joe's.

  • 4 ounces hard cider
  • 1.5 ounces melon liqueur
  • 0.5 ounces lychee liqueur
  • 0.5 ounces vodka

Combine all ingredients in a highball glass, stir and add two to three ice cubes.

4. Cinnamon Apple Crisp. This recipe is adapted from Angry Orchard; their Crisp Apple Cider indeed works well, though most any dry cider will do as well.

  • 1.5 ounces cinnamon schnapps
  • 6 ounces hard cider
  • Sprinkle of ginger

Combine all ingredients in a pint glass and serve chilled.

3. Red Witch. I guess we're to assume ladies with magical powers like licorice/anise? Or maybe just communist witches? Regardless, this cocktail combines earthy floral flavor with sweet beery notes to produce a sweet botanical drink that will bring out your evil side if you drink it too quickly.

  • 1.5 ounces Pernod
  • 14 ounces hard cider
  • 0.5 ounces blackcurrant cordial

Add Pernod to pint glass or beer mug, fill with hard cider and add floater of blackcurrent cordial. Serve at room temperature.

2. Green Goblin. Sweeter ciders work better in this cocktail in terms of balancing the lager, but avoid any heavy fruit flavors lest they overwhelm the curaçao. And for God's sake, drink this next St. Paddy's day instead of that crappy green beer.

  • 1.5 ounces blue curaçao
  • 7 ounces hard cider
  • 7 ounces lager

Combine cider, lager and curaçao (in that order) in a chilled glass. Give two swills of a long spoon and enjoy.

1. Bloody Mick. Apple and cherry are the new hottest flavor couple. At least that's the rumor I'm trying to spread. This cocktail combines the smoky, autumnal essences of cider and whiskey with the flirty edge of cherry sweetness.

  • 1.5 ounces Irish whiskey
  • 2 oz maraschino cherry juice*
  • 4 ounces of dry hard cider

Combine in shaker filled with ice. Shake vigorously, strain into hardball glass and add three large ice cubes. Garnish with maraschino cherry.

*Best extracted from jar of maraschino cherries.

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