On beautiful summer weekends, I love to get out of the city, travel the back roads and fill my lungs with farm-fresh air! In my area there are lots of interesting places to visit along the way, like small markets, greenhouses, craft shops, and wineries. It’s always nice to drop into your favorite spots, as well as look for places you’ve never been.
Last Sunday was one of those days. My husband and I headed out after lunch, and made our way to Archibald’s Orchard and Winery to see if there was anything new. After a couple of taste tests we settled on a couple of nice hard cider combos – apple/cranberry and apple/cherry. These are light refreshing drinks that are nice to sip on alone or pair with a summery meal.
Next stop was a roadside market for some fresh corn on the cob, and to browse through the flowers and crafts. This is another favorite place of ours. For me, the next best thing to picking my own food – if i can’t actually grow it myself – is to buy it somewhere close to the field it came from.
Earlier on the trip I had spotted a sign for another apple cider place that I’d never seen before. So on the return leg of our trip we detoured to find it and check it out. Geissberger Farmhouse Cider is a small, family operation that has been making fresh (non alcoholic) cider for years. They have a mobile set up now that travels to local orchards to process and bottle cider right on site. The really neat thing about their products (which includes some tasty combinations like the one with sour cherry we bought) is the packaging. They are using the “bag-in-a-box” format that some wines are now sold in. The beauty of this being a much longer shelf life after opening, since it prevents air from getting in.
This is a perfect example of what this blog is all about – “Old fashioned goodness and twenty first century know-how”!
Anyway…with apples on my mind when I got home, I had an idea. Ice tea is one of my favorite summer drinks. What would it be like combined with some apple cider? After a little experimenting I came up with a combination that suits my taste. I use green tea since I don’t do well with much caffeine.
The recipe is below. This is just one of many possible variations of course. Why not experiment yourself and share your blend in the comments section.
A refreshing summer time drink with little or no sugar added - unless you want to!
- 2 tea bags green tea
- 2 cups boiling water
- 2 cups unsweetened apple cider
- 1 lemon, juiced - if used add a little sweetener (optional)
- 1 cup soda water (optional)
- ice cubes
- to taste honey, maple syrup or sweetener of choice (optional)
- 2 shots vodka (optional)
Pour the boiling water over the tea bags and steep for 5 -15 minutes, depending on how strong you like your tea. Remove the bags and let cool to room temperature.
When tea is ready pour it into a two quart pitcher. Add the other ingredients that you want to include, except the soda water and ice cubes. Stir to combine. Then add the soda water and ice cubes just before serving.
Try other juices to add a variety of flavor to the punch, like; white grape juice, sour cherry, or cranberry.