Serious Eats: Recipes

Plum Spiced Hard Cider

[Photo: Kelly Carámbula]

Plums—the last of this year's stonefruits—are still speckling the market with their bright yellow and deep purple hues. After coming home with basket full of purple plums—not totally sure what to do with them—I landed on this recipe from Mark Bittman for Autumnal Spice Plums. This recipe is the best of both worlds, it makes a dessert—the plums get tender and soak up the warm spices—and a syrup, which is intended to be drizzled over the plums, but it's also great added to a cocktail.

And that's exactly what I did. The syrup is rich with flavor—it's got a bright juiciness from the plums, sweet notes from the syrup and honey, and bold spices from the cinnamon and anise. Since it's fairly complex, I paired it with hard cider which is effervescent with a tanginess that balances the syrup's sweetness. The addition of a little applejack helps to support the apple flavor and adds depth to the cocktail.

The final drink is light and sippable, perfect for brunch or an afternoon on the porch admiring the changing colors of the leaves.

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