Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Cider Cup

"Cups", along with "fizzes", "flips", "daisy's", "frappes" and more, were often listed in their own separate sections in early cocktail books.  

This recipe comes from Jacques Straub's book that was published in 1914, and simply titled "Drinks". There are twenty recipes in this book for "Cups", all reflecting scaled down and bubbly punches served in "large glass pitchers."

Designed to accommodate 4-6 people, cups are perfect for entertaining. There are some great looking recipes here, with fun names as well, like "Biship's Cup", "Lord Latounne Cup", "Turk's Neck Cup" and "Velvet Cup".

They contain champagne, ginger ale, sparkling mineral water, hard cider, or even porter for the bubbles, and various selections of fruit and cordials for added flavor. A bit like a sparkling sangria.

I did not "age" the mix here, as the non-carbonated ingredients would not have created enough liquid to soak the fruit overnight. This would be the same for all of the "cup" recipes I've read. So, you just throw it together shortly before, or even just after your guests arrive. 

Here's the recipe I recently used, as it appears in Straub's book:

Cider Cup

Use large glass pitcher, into which put:
4 slices lemon.
5 slices orange.
5 slices pineapple.
1 jigger brandy.
1/2 jigger curacoa.
1/2 jigger maraschino.
1 quart champagne cider, or sweet cider, as preferred.
2 dashes lemon juice.
1 large piece of ice.
1 bunch of mint on top.

I was able to get the required "4 slices of lemon" from one piece of fruit, same with the "5 slices of orange". (The blood oranges at the store were looking good, so I used them here.) I cubed the fresh pineapple rather than making slices - I just didn't have the right knife to make thin enough slices.

For the brandy, I used 2 oz of Christian Brother's VSOP, 1 oz Cointreau for the curacoa, 1 oz Luxardo Maraschino, 2 pints of Strongbow English dry cider, and maybe 1/3 of a can of "Royal Anne" cherries from Oregon fruit products (do not add any of the syrup though, just the cherries).

This was a big hit! Very tasty, especially if you already like hard cider...and how could you not like hard cider?

One last tip, don't forget to encourage your guests to fish out some of the fruit to garnish their cups with!

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