Autumn means Apple Cider — and Bourbon
As Louisville turns to fall, it’s time to break out some of our favorite bourbon beverages for the colorful months of autumn. Every bourbon enthusiast knows how complex the process of making bourbon can be. If you’ve been on a distillery tour you’ve seen the grain silos and cookers, heard about their secret mash bill, and — if you’re lucky — taken a taste from the fermenters.
Often overlooked however, is the complexity involved with creating apple cider, one of the best drinks to pair with bourbon when the leaves start falling.
Most large scale apple cider production start with 1,000lbs of apples in a giant storage bin, which stay like this often for over a week to soften and ease the process. They are then washed and ground to a consistency similar to applesauce. Each factory creates this applesauce mixture from a number of different apples, which each have a different flavor profile. This is when the process starts to mirror creating bourbon.
Not unlike your favorite distillery, the percentage breakdown of apple types that go into apple cider varies from producer to producer, and is often a well-guarded secret. Once they achieve the correct mix for their flavor profile, the applesauce is pressed by a cider press – or wring. The wring delivers 30,000lb of pressure, and expels the cider through plastic tubes into a cooling tank. From this point it’s fermented, bottled, and sent to grocery stores around the world.
This small batch recipe combines bourbon and apple cider in a classic autumn sangria. Try it with your favorite red wine, and relish in the hard work that went into creating your favorite fall cocktails.
1 Bottle of red wine
½ cup bourbon
1 cup apple cider
Variety of sliced apples (3-4)
2-3 cinnamon sticks
Combine all ingredients in large pitcher. Refrigerate. Let sit for at least 4 hours or overnight. Serve over ice.
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