Traditionally this classic cocktail is incredibly simple -- just a sugar cube, bitters, Champagne, and a lemon peel. To make this cocktail unique and perfect for a cold winter night, we introduced the richness of boiled cider. Boiled cider is a little known but fantastic ingredient popular in northern New England. It’s a great topping for pancakes, but our favorite use is as a wintertime replacement for simple syrup in cocktail recipes.
The dry, toasty sparkling wine combined with the rich boiled cider, spicy aromatic bitters, and bright lemon zest results in a cocktail reminiscent of your favorite apple pie.
- Champagne (Cava or prosecco work fine too)
- 1 boiled cider sugar cube or .25 oz of boiled cider (directions below)
- 3 dashes of aromatic bitters
- Lemon peel
To make the boiled cider:
- In a heavy-bottomed saucepan add 1 gallon of apple cider and gently simmer over medium heat for 5-8 hours, stirring occasionally.
- Remove from heat when the color deepens to a dark ruby and it coats the back of a spoon. The finished volume should equal about 1 pint (16 oz).
- Optional: Strain through fine chinois or a cheesecloth.
Note: You can make boiled cider ahead of time, it will last up to 4 weeks in the fridge. If you don't have time, order a bottle here.
To make the boiled cider sugar cube:
- Take a rough cut sugar cube and saturate it with boiled cider.
- Use the sugar cube immediately or make a large batch and dehydrate them by spreading the cubes out on a cookie sheet and placing in a cold oven for up to 3 days -- they will still be a little sticky to the touch.
To make the cocktail:
- In a stemmed glass, add the cider sugar cube (or boiled cider) and 3 dashes aromatic bitters.
- Top with Champagne.
- Gently twist the lemon peel over the Champagne and delicately slip it into cocktail.