One of the essentials of fall is apple cider, and when the temperature dips, hot mulled cider really hits the spot - especially when there’s a shot of bourbon involved.
The apple is so iconic to American culture, that it’s crazy to think that the apple as we know it is not native here. The only native apple trees to the Americas were sour crab apples. Settlers from England brought apples with them, and struggled to get the first orchards started - in fact - they had to ship more bees to the colonies for proper pollination. The origins of the apple (and cider) date back to ancient Egypt, like 1300 BC. Back then, all cider was alcoholic because of the fermentation process and lack of ability to preserve foods. Like most alcoholic beverages, cider was a happy accident, then was replicated. The apple spread from Egypt to Rome and continued throughout Europe, then of course made its way to the new world. For centuries, cider was actually the preferred drink, even more so than beer as it had a lower alcohol content since throughout most of history water was not safe to consume. It was only in the 20th century that beer and stronger spirits became more popular, (prohibition was partly to blame. What were they thinking?!?)
Today, thanks to refrigeration and modern preservation, cider no longer has to be alcoholic, and the recipe for this week’s cocktail calls for plain old cider from the produce section. You can also leave the bourbon out for the kiddos, or instead of adding the bourbon all at once to the recipe, add a shot to the glass/mug before serving.
Bourbon Mulled Cider
1/2 Gallon Fresh Apple Cider
1/4 c Mulling Spices
8-12 oz Bourbon (I used Knob Creek Smoked Maple)
1/2 an Orange, in slices Apple Slices (optional)
Pour cider into a stock pot, (or crock pot), add mulling spices, orange slices and bourbon (if not adding separately to glasses later). Heat on low (turn on high if using the crockpot). Simmer for about 30-40 minutes to infuse flavors. Serve warm, garnish with cinnamon sticks and orange/apple slices and indulge in your warm cuppa happy.
This week, the beauty we hope you’ll welcome into your home is Tinka! She is a 7 year old brown and white Australian Shepherd mix. The folks at the shelter say she wins the award for being the sweetest lady, who is loving with everyone she meets, (with slow proper introductions). She’s a zoomie queen and loves canine friends who are gentle and calm. Because sudden movements and loud noises scare her, a home with older children is best.
You can meet Tinka and see her big smile, (or any featured pup) in person at the Cuyahoga County Animal Shelter, and if you can’t adopt, please share her information. Foster homes are always needed. You can also help the shelter through donations, supplies or volunteering. Consider a Cage Sponsorship or contributing to their Medical Relief Fund. Every little bit helps!
This pretty girl has floppy ears and expressive eyes that will melt your heart - a 7 year old super sweet terrier pittie mix, who has been at the shelter since March - her foster family says she’s the kind of well behaved guest you want to stay! Zero accidents, and she even puts herself to bed. Hera is a people pup - just like a people person, but so much better, so she’ll make a great only copilot.
You can meet plenty of potential copilots at the Cuyahoga County Animal Shelter and of course foster homes are always needed. You can also help the shelter through donations, supplies or volunteering. Consider a Cage Sponsorship or contributing to their Medical Relief Fund. Every little bit helps!
First, a huge thank you to you for sharing our featured dogs' information! Because of you, senior bonded pair Lilo & Stitch, the sweet mastiff Esmeralda, Stratus, the perfect gentleman and couch potato, Hank, the gentle giant and Buckley, the ladies man, all have their happily ever after homes!!
There are however, still a few who need to find their perfect humans. Jewels, the fun loving playgroup social butterfly, Hera, the pretty girl with good manners and expressive eyes, Bruno, the boy who can’t wait to show off all of his new obedience skills, and of course, Mary Poppins, who is described as “practically perfect in every way.”
You can meet plenty of potential copilots at the Cuyahoga County Animal Shelter and of course foster homes are always needed. You can also help the shelter through donations, supplies or volunteering. Consider a Cage Sponsorship or contributing to their Medical Relief Fund. Every little bit helps! You can also join their 4th annual Jog for Dogs 5K this Sunday September 17th!
The final segment of my trip to Southern Tier covers why I went to begin with - there’s a new member to the Pumking family, Caramel Pumking, and to get a fall preview for you, but Lydia shared so much more and let me pick her brain for beer knowledge. In Part 1, we covered late summer brews and food pairings - plus Lydia’s personal concoction of a double IPA and a Sour, called Berry Gusher, which is refreshing, delish (and dangerous at 9% ABV). In Part 2, I was also introduced to a very unique brew that’s technically a red beer, but wine drinkers will enjoy, plus, an IPA for fall that I actually liked!
So as we conclude this series, we look at those amazing fall brews that Southern Tier is best known for, the amazing fall flavors of the Pumking Family and in using my new knowledge of how to properly taste beer, it was kind of like being reintroduced to them.
Now Pumking is described as “pumpkin pie in a glass,” delish, right? Well, not for some, and for those who don’t “pumpkin” but do enjoy spice, Lydia suggests trying Warlock, an imperial stout that is a part of the Pumking family. I heartily concur with her advice, as I fell in love with Warlock before Pumking. I now love both equally and it’s a fall staple for many craft brew enthusiasts. Caramel is the newest addition, and it is glorious. I feel like it adds a little extra depth and flavor that makes it even better. It may be my new fave. At their tap house on Prospect, you’ll also be able to enjoy a rum barrel version (Rumking) as well as a Chai Pumking…. and then, THEN, are you ready for this? There’s a Pumking Whiskey. Um…. If you notice I’m missing this fall, I’ll be at Southern Tier….
An absolute MUST try, is their dessert pretzel bites, which goes amazingly with any of the Pumking beers, but especially well with Caramel Pumking. Remember, Pumkingfest is tomorrow September 9th at the tap house on Prospect!
A HUGE thank you to Lydia for letting me hijack her evening and tap her brain for all kinds of brew info!
For part 2 of my trip to Southern Tier on Prospect, we’re taking a look at the transitional summer to fall beers on offer - for days like we had this week - chilly, but not cold, yet, warm but not hot. There are a few brews Southern Tier offers for this transition, and I think their Praise the Haze IPA is a good option - very, very piney, a classic east coast IPA, (just like a Carolina Pine Forest), is one for those days that are definitely still summer like. Southern Tier recommends their Harvest IPA. Now, I don’t generally like IPA’s, yet, I love this one. It was also my favorite to pair with their brisket meatballs with IPA Marinara. All their IPA’s are great with that dish, but, there’s something I love about the Harvest with that pairing and as an IPA in general. It’s a fuller body IPA that’s surprisingly smooth. Lydia from Southern Tier refers to it as her “leaf blowing beer,” a perfect end to a day of cleaning up fallen leaves. I also highly recommend any of their IPA's with their fried pickles with Nashville Hot Aioli... especially if you like the heat to linger (if you want to cut the heat Legacy Lager is the brew for you). Speaking of the Nashville Hot Aioli, it's a game changer in the world of aioli and heat. Truly delish.
Next, the beer I personally think is perfect for transition, the Redwood Redemption - and even early winter.This is described as a beer that’s like a red wine - it’s a “wine drinkers” beer, and a good one to stock for those “I only drink wine” guests, because it’s my bet that they’ll no longer adhere to their “wine only” rule.It’s an incredibly unique beer - quite possibly the most unique beer I’ve ever tasted. It’s like someone brewed a wine. “She’s a breed all her own - she’s a unique brew” is what Lydia says concerning Redwood Redemption. So far, it’s been great with anything you’d pair with red wine. Marinara, pizza, a rich burger. It’s smooth, but not sweet, not too heavy or too light. I also think it’ll be great with a bonfire on a cold night. Lydia and I both thought it’d make a great companion to a hearty chili, and if you put beer in your chili, this one is a great choice. Considering we’re definitely not done with the hot weather, be sure to check out the Southern Tier brews still on offer for summer in That’s What She Drank Jaci’s Visit to Southern Tier Part 1. Again, big thanks to Lydia for sharing all her brewery information and taste guidance and to Nikki who took care of us.
We of course explored the flavors of the Pumking Family, (including the new Caramel Pumking), and if you're a Pumking fan, one date to put on your calendar is Saturday, September 9th because it's Pumking Fest starting at noon at Southern Tier Brewery. Another prominent date is the following day, Sunday the 10th as they are releasing their CLE Brew'd Brown Ale and celebrating the game with $5 dollar drafts of the football season's brew.
To be continued...
We are SO talking about Bruno!! That is the name of the pup we want you to reintroduce you to. Bruno is a fun, energetic guy who came to the shelter when he was just 9 months old in January - he’s now about a year and a half, which means he’s spent nearly 1/2 of his life in a shelter, and doesn’t know much of a home life. The folks at the shelter realized this and hooked him up with Miracle K9 training for 30 days and he came back with leash manners and knows all kinds of cammands - he even comes when called, (we won't mention any names, but we all know a canine or two with issues in that department). He is continuing to learn off leash commands. Bruno is very smart!! but don't worry, his new family gets his training info plus follow up visits with Miracle K9 (so they can be doggone smart too)! Bruno would make a great jogging/hiking buddy. He loves the water, his toys and could become quite the rally or agility pup. Bruno does like playing with other dogs, but will probably be happiest as an only copilot. He also likes kids, but they recommend his new family have kids 14 and older.
You can meet Bruno, (or any featured pup) in person at the Cuyahoga County Animal Shelter, and if you can’t adopt, please share his information. Foster homes are always needed. You can also help the shelter through donations, supplies or volunteering. Consider a Cage Sponsorship or contributing to their Medical Relief Fund. Every little bit helps!
Ahead of his sold out show at the Agora on March 10th, I got to sit down with the lead singer of Blue October, Justin Ferstenfeld for a quick chat before he had to run off to sound check. To set the scene, I, along with our P.D. Alyssa, and her mom were led to his green room where he welcomed us with hugs, some water, and a general earnesty you wouldn’t typically expect from a rockstar. He carried that same energy with him the whole night. Whether it was with fans at sound check or talking to people in the crowd in between songs, he spoke to everyone from the heart. It helped explain why, aside from liking the sounds of Blue October, people love (and I mean LOVE) Justin… and they have for decades.
You’ll hear Alyssa’s mom in the beginning mention her love for Blue October. Justin then goes on to call her “Mom” throughout the interview saying things like “sorry Mom” after he curses.