Monday, August 18, 2014
summer in a glass
Got some things a'brewing in my kitchen - literally! This tall drink of beautiful is a riff on the cider recipe in Yvette Van Boven's Home Made Winter cookbook. The original, which is brewed in a bucket at room temp for 8 days, then aged in the fridge to build up bubbles, uses 6 1/2 pounds of grated apples, water, sugar, and spices. For this batch, I used 6 pounds of apples and 1/2 pounds of red and white currants, generously given to me by a friend who is blessed with some seriously heavy-yielding currant bushes in her garden (are we jealous yet?). Seeing as Van Boven says it's okay to just grind up the entire apple - seeds, stems, cores and all - and seeing as the mixture is later strained - twice! - I actually just put the bunches of currants (with their stems) through the food processor when I grated the apples, and figured I could strain out any organic bits later.
Now, a confession: the color wasn't quite this brilliant watermelon-hue on its own. As I'd just been reading an article about how the appearance of food really does affect our perception of it, I took my cider (which was naturally just a slightly-rosy amber color) and stirred in about 1 teaspoon of beet powder. That's right: dried, powdered beets. One teaspoon turned four liters of cider this gorgeous color, and didn't add even the faintest whiff of earthiness to the flavor.
These bottles have been ageing for a month or so in the fridge; they should be drunk by mid-September, though I'm thinking of holding on to them just a week longer and doing some kind of to-do to celebrate the equinox with friends - and this bright, crisp, berried taste of summer.
Currently, the bucket's host to the early stages of our next cider - apple-blackberry! I won't bother trying to adjust the color on that one; it's already a gorgeous deep purple.