The Leftover Apple Cider Dilemma

If like us you find yourself with some leftover apple cider after making a recipe that called for only a portion of the container, try some of these easy, novel ideas instead of throwing it out. Yes, go ahead and drink it if you’re so inclined, but if not, these nifty recipes enhance an entire spectrum of food items, and are simple to boot.

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For a Tangy Homemade Vinaigrette to toss over salads or in with pasta dishes, first grab 1 lemon. Finely grate the zest into a bowl and squeeze in the juice. Whisk in a 1/3 cup apple cider, 1 tablespoon dijon mustard, 1 tablespoon honey and 1 finely grated garlic clove. Whisking constantly, slowly drizzle in 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil and salt and pepper to taste.

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Here’s an Easy Autumnal Glaze for meat and veggies. In a medium saucepan combine 1 cup apple cider, 2 tablespoons cider vinegar, 1 finely grated garlic clove and 2 tablespoons whole-grain mustard. Bring to a boil and cook until reduced to about 1/4 cup and coats the back of a spoon, 5 to 7 minutes. remove from heat and stir in 2 tablespoons butter, and salt and pepper to taste.

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And what about dessert? Who couldn’t resist a Cider Caramel Sauce to drizzle over almost anything? (OK, so maybe this one is a little more labor-intensive.) In a medium sauce pan, bring 2 cups apple cider to a boil and cook until reduced to a 1/2 cup, nearly 20 minutes. Next, reduce the heat to medium-low and add 1/2 cup white sugar and a 1/2 cup light brown sugar with 5 tablespoons heavy cream, 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt,1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, and 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg, mix to combine.

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Simmer until the caramel thickens and becomes rich brown in color, 12 to 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla. Let cool to room temperature. Use or refrigerate for up to one week. Makes 1 1/2 cups. To reheat, microwave in 30-second increments, stirring after each, until desired consistency is achieved.

shutterstock_684839422Finally, an apple cider cocktail goes perfect with the season, and a few simple ingredients will transform a classic fall drink into a festive treat. While there are endless possibilities, how about a Cider-Bourbon Cocktail? Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add 3/4 cup apple cider, 1/3 cup bourbon2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice, and 2 (2 1/2-inch-long) thin slices fresh peeled ginger; shake to combine. Strain cocktail into 2 cups. Garnish with thin apple or orange slices. Get a cozy fire going, and sit back and relax…

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