Craft Cocktail: Ludington Snuggler

When I was a kid, we went to Apple Charlie’s to pick apples, voraciously tear through cider donuts, and drink warm cider. My brothers, sister, and I would also stare with amazement (year after year) at the cider press. We also picked apples that my Mom would bake, make into pies, and slice into our oatmeal and lunch baggies for the next couple of weeks. It just seemed like one of those routines I just could not over do.

Likewise, at college football games, I remember when I first enjoyed the warm sips of cider and Jim Beam delivered to me as a nineteen-year-old out of a boda bag that had been smuggled in under the armpit of one of my older (by at least six months to a year) and wiser fraternity brothers. It just felt and tasted so rich and great . . . and, a little dangerous.

I loved it.

Fast forward to last week to my vacation when Emily and I had toured Ludington, taking in the sights on a cold, gusty, grey day – having a ton of fun and celebrating our life together. We decided to head to a dinner place that had come highly recommended by our B&B hostess and boasted a great deal of promise from its online menu. One of the items that caught out attention was a drink they called the Warm Woodford Cider.

When we got to the restaurant, all looked good. There was a bourbon tasting that included some on my faves and a robust atmosphere filled with conversation and fun.

The only problem – something was missing form the menu. No Warm Woodford Cider, hmmm.

Emily asked the server if we had missed the cocktail – maybe it was part of a seasonal offering that occurred prior to this evening out for us? Nope, the restaurant had changed management and the drink was out with the old. This would have stopped the deal for most but, we were chilled to the bone from our adventure and just had this idea in our head that this is something we wanted. I mean, what’s the harm in asking if they have some cider around, right?

As luck would have it – they did. And though the mixologist shared that she did not know the recipe for the Warm Woodford Cider she agreed to give it her best shot.

Within minutes we had been sent a drink to taste along with a request for feedback. Awesome.

The one we had with dessert was even better.

Local cider, bourbon, cinnamon sticks, whole cloves, and carmels

At home we call this the Ludington Snuggler.

Here’s our version: cider, bourbon, cloves, cinnamon stick, optional carmel. Simmer cider, cloves, and cinnamon for about five minutes. Place carmel and bourbon in mug. Pour hot cider through strainer and into the mug. Stir.

Enjoy!

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