When the folks at Smirnoff inquired about my trying some of their flavored vodkas I admit I was a bit hesitant. I love using vodka in cocktails but most often I’m the one that is infusing them with a flavor and I’ve not had much interest in the gazillion vodka flavors I see proliferate liquor store shelves. But then I spied a Kissed Caramel Vodka in the offer and a recipe for a Kissed Caramel Apple-tini. Anything combining caramel and apple makes me go weak in the knees and so I thought I would give it a shot. Or two.
They indulged me and sent me both of their new flavors. My daughter and her friend Cindy were here the day the package arrived and they were absolutely giddy over both of them. If I’m being honest, the Iced Cake flavor was so sweet it was not for me but those girls quickly poured a glass over rocks and, well, that bottle went home with my daughter Emily. I just know when they see what I’ve done with the Kissed Caramel that they’ll find an excuse to come visit the ‘old lady’ stat!
They even suggested a recipe; combining the vodka with apple juice, lemon juice and simple syrup. My first order of the day was to revise that cocktail a bit; I had a variety of apples on hand and decided to make some apple cider to use instead of apple juice and I just knew I would eliminate the simple syrup; I wanted the tartness of the cider to come through.
I have to tell you…this was yummalicious good. Absolutely frivolous and fun and for me, the perfect cocktail for Halloween. I’m not big into Halloween; not even sure why. It’s not a religious thing but I’ve never enjoyed anything scary or spooky and if you know me you might know I hate the color orange ( I mean HATE it!) so though my kids always went out Trick or Treating, without little kids around, it’s just a day. I do dress up on the night of and hand out candy to the neighbor kids…maybe this year I’ll bide that time with a cocktail; this would be PERFECT!
My only drawback to getting it made? I had neither apple juice or apple cider so I made some! Apple cider is so easy to make, especially when you only need a relatively small amount. I had four apples which gave me a bit more than a cup of juice…plenty for several cocktails if you’re inviting friends. Of course it didn’t hurt that I have this fabulous Blendtec blender either…stick around; I’ve got one to give away next week! Simply remove the core from your apples and slice them into chunks; skin and all. Puree in a blender or food processor and then strain the juice from the pulp. I used a combination of my best strainer combined with four layers of cheesecloth. I was impatient and squeezed it out but if you plan better than I did you can let it sit and drip and then just squeeze out the a bit at the end. That’s it…no cooking required! Store in the fridge or if you have a bit too much, freeze it for later.
Once I had the cider made it was easy. I drew a bead of caramel sauce around the rim with a squeeze bottle and garnished it with an apple slice. Want the truth? I am running so far behind, I made this cocktail this morning…and I drank it while I wrote this post. Hey…it’s juice!! Enjoy!