With fall comes apples and our annual trip to the apple orchards in Nebraska City with the grandparents. Nebraska City is home to Arbor Day Farms (founding group of Arbor Day) and home to a group of long time orchards that grow some fantastic apples. We spend the day there, taking the kids apple picking, watching the kids sneak bite of apples fresh off the tree, and enjoying a nice fall day. Of course anytime we are down at the orchards, we have to grab some of the fresh pressed apple cider, which always means it is officially fall at our house!
One treat that our kids (technically even some of the grown kids!) always love to get when we visit the orchards is the fresh caramel apples that many of the orchards offer in their snack shops. The fresh homemade caramel and tree fresh apples is an amazing combination, and since we have been getting fresh orchard caramel apples since our kids were tiny, walking around with a caramel apple has become a tradition for our family in the fall. Since we like making lots of seasonal cocktails to share with our readers, having cocktail that is so fall related was a no brainier!
For this drink we combine caramel infused vodka and the apple cider to get a fresh caramel apple flavor to the classic Moscow Mule cocktail. This might sound really sweet, but balancing out a bit of the sweetness with fresh lime juice helps keep this version of a moscow mule nice and in balance and keeping this cocktail from getting overly sweet. The ginger beer works really well with the apple cider, giving just a hint of a spicy ginger hit to the sweet apple and caramel. Perfect for sipping around a fire-pit or enjoying with a warm bowl of apple crisp!
If you are interested in a really easy way to make this cocktail, you can just buy a caramel flavored vodka off the shelf. However, if you really want to take this cocktail to the next level, you can make your own caramel infused vodka. Making your own lets you get the caramel flavor just how you like it, plus you add a little bit of sea salt to make it a salted caramel infused vodka!
- 20 caramel candies
- 1 750 ml bottle of vodka
- pinch of sea salt
Either combine caramels and vodka in a large enough container, or 2, to hold the caramels and vodka. Or, you can pour out an ounce or 2 of the vodka and put the caramels into the bottle itself, you may have to cut them to do so. Shake the bottle or containers, and do so a few times a day for 3-4 days. When it is ready to go, strain through a coffee filter or cheesecloth to remove sediment. Add in a pinch of salt. Pour back into bottle.
- 1.5 oz caramel vodka
- 0.5 oz lime juice
- 3.5 oz apple cider
- 4 oz ginger beer (we prefer Crabbie's)
- Combine all in a copper mug with ice. Garnish with apple slice. Cheers!