New England Buck (mocktail)
4 oz apple cider
1 oz lemon juice
1 oz sage and juniper syrup (recipe follows)
2 dashes orange bitters
ginger beer (I used mostly ginger ale and a splash of ginger beer base I had sitting around)
Combine all but ginger beer with ice in a cocktail shaker and shake to mix. Strain into an ice-filled double old-fashioned glass and top with ginger beer. Gently stir and serve.
Sage and Juniper SyrupThe cider's natural tartness plays with the really fresh flavors of the sage and juniper and makes something that's really unique and crisp-tasting. The ginger gives it a little warmth, too. It's really an appealing drink, and a good one to serve at any fall or winter family gatherings. It would also work well for, say, a brunch with certain family members who don't believe in mimosas before noon.
1 cup water
1 cup sugar
5 fresh sage leaves
10 juniper berries, cracked in mortar and pestle
Heat ingredients in saucepan until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat, let stand 10 minutes, then strain into a clean squeeze bottle or glass container. Keeps for up to a month in the fridge.