Serious Eats: Recipes

Vandaag's New Amsterdam Toddy

Photos: Alice Gao

"The problem with most cider drinks is that they just hang around on a hot plate all day," says Vandaag's Martim Smith-Mattsson, "so the flavors get too concentrated." Here, he allows Laird's Bonded Applejack "to do most of the work," delivering powerful apple flavor and the fruit's crisp acidity without that all-too-familiar boiled-down sweetness.

His cider is subtly spiced with cardamom, cinnamon, clove, ginger, and a bare floral hint of lavender (recipe included). Orange peels and orange curacao add complementary citrus flavors without things getting too juiced up.

Adjust spices to your liking, but pay particular attention to quantity and steeping time if you use lavender; it can easily turn bitter or overly floral.

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