Apples, Cider, Bitters. Aperitivos Nuevo Asturian-style at Tertulia NYC

photoAperi

The Basics:

Sparkling Sidra: TRABANCO POMA AUREA  SIDRA De ASTURIAS. A sparkling cider made from Ragona and Raxao apples.

www.sidratrabanco.com

Apple Bitters: Try a house-made bitter, or one of the abundant small batch, hand-crafted, artisanal bitters increasingly available to the home mixologist.

To Garnish: Fresh thyme and raw apple matchsticks.

This tweet from @Tertulia_NYC reveals additional ingredient details:

Tertulia Cards

Click here for another Tertulia Cider Cocktail.

Ingredients: 

Rye whisky, a dash of fresh lemon juice, a splash of house-made thyme simple syrup

Eden Ice Orleans Herbal Ice Cider 

Eve’s Cidery Sow the Seeds Sparkling Cider

Angostura Bitters AND Baked Apple Bitters

HOW TO: 

Shake: rye, lemon juice, thyme simple syrup, ice cider. Strain. Top: with sparkling cider.

Finish: with a float of both bitters.

Cider. The perfect aperitivo.

Tasting Lab: Recipe: FREEZE IT! Cider and Ice Cider Granitas.

The warming temperatures inspired some cider experimentation. We made quick no fuss granitas from several ciders and ice ciders. Here are our results, and a few ideas for other freeze-ology experiments:

Tieton Cider Works Cherry Cider: A very fruit-forward, apple cider blended with cherries from Harmony Orchards fruit grown in Eastern Washington State.

Frozen Result: Refreshing. Try with a slice of lime. Tieton Cider Works Cherry Cider is a terrific base for popsicles, slushies or a fresh fruit cider sangria.

Tieton Cider Works Frost Ice Cider: A light “autumn blend” ice cider made from Harmony Orchards’ Jonagold, Pinova and Winter Banana apples.

Frozen Result: A gently sweet apple ice that would be lovely infused with bits of lemon thyme, or tarragon prior to freezing. Serve with a serious citrus twist.

Tieton Cider Works Wind: A warming bourbon barrel aged ice cider.

Frozen Result: A whiskey-like equivalent of a frozen margarita. Add fresh mint + simple syrup for mint julep-style frozen treat.

E. Z. Orchards Cidre: A French-style cidre from Oregon’s Willamette Valley.

Frozen Result: An amazing tannic treat. Palate cleansing, unexpected and addicting.

Eden Ice Cider Orleans Bitter: A recent addition to Vermont based Eden Ice Cider’s line, Orleans Bitter is a bracingly bitter refreshment, and our current go-to summer apéritif and a favorite mixology component.

Frozen Result: A perfect apéritif or digestif in delightful frozen form. No add-ons, adjuncts required or desired. Just freeze it.

Try This At Home!

DIY-HOW TO: Freeze ciders in shallow container (ice cube trays will do in a pinch) covered to seal out unwanted freezer flavors. Once frozen, scrape into granita texture, or fork-chip into a pleasing cider ice flake. Serve immediately, a small scoop is all that’s needed as flavors are intensified.

Further experiments with cider pops, cider slushies, home infused cider ices, and ice ciders over shaved ice – cider sno-cones! –  coming soon.

Notes: We favor craft ciders that use real fruit for our mixology and freezing experiments, and suggest you do the same. Be aware of the ABV% of your frozen treat –  easy to enjoy – it’s easy to forget they still contain alcohol.

For a bit more Granita How To visit Serious Eats.

Links:

Tieton Cider Works

E. Z. Orchards Cidre

Eden Ice Cider Company 

Tasting Lab: Recipe: Fromage Fort with Farnum Hill Extra Dry Cider

Fromage Fort, French “strong cheese” is usually made with bits of leftover cheese, the more variety the better, and moistened with dry white wine, chicken stock, or leek broth.

Tasting Lab: Our version of Fromage Fort is made with cider instead of dry white wine.

We selected Farnum Hill Extra Dry Cider*, collected the assorted cheese scraps we had on hand, chopped them into a fairly fine mince, smashed 3 small garlic cloves, filled our jar with the garlic and cheese, splashed in about 2/3 cup of Farnum Hill Extra Dry Cider, leaving more than enough cider enough to enjoy a glass or two. We skipped the salt and pepper as our blend contained many already flavorful cheeses, and figured we could add seasoning later if needed.

There are more detailed recipes, but this is not one of them.

Our Strong Cheese with Cider is “maturing” the refrigerator. You can eat this right away as a mild spread on toasted bread or crackers, and a few moments in the oven or under the broiler to melt and brown the cheese is often recommended. Contemporary recipes suggest a whirl in the food processor, but we went traditional and chopped with a knife – giving us a better sense of the types of rind bits we were incorporating.

Note: Remove cloth or wax rinds – we left all other rinds intact, because we like cider and we also like cheese, and rinds are very important part of the cheese flavor experience. You of course, are welcome to trim your rinds, if that is to your taste. (If your cheese has odd bits of uncharacteristic mold – you should trim those off).

Traditionally you age the Fromage Fort, and most modern recipes suggest the mixture can mature for a week or two (if it lasts that long).

For an interesting read see  Turning Leftover Cheese Into a Classic from The 1989 New York Times series, The Purposeful Cook, by Jacques Pepin. If you are interested in foodways, Jacques Pepin’s style of storytelling, sharing personal food history, and teaching culinary methods while explaining a recipe, is enlightening.

Purposeful indeed – with a happy frugality, appreciating that abundance is not to be squandered, scraps are to be saved, transformed and savored.

And for a complete different take on ‘Strong Cheese’ read Fromage Fort: The Cheese That Tried To Kill Me by Francis Lam at Salon.

* we topped our mix off with a bit of Farnum Hill Semi-Dry Cider.