While the rest of the country is experiencing brisk weather, fiery red and orange foliage, and other classic signs of fall, we’re still basking in the sunshine here in Southern California. I know that it’s easy to hate us, with our year-round 80-degree weather, but the truth is we sometimes wish we got to experience fall the way the other coast does. So while everyone else is curling up by the fire with their cup of cocoa or piping hot PSL, we decided to whip up our own fall beverage, with a California twist.
Apple cider is one of my favorite fall flavors, but it’s really still too warm too enjoy a hot cider around these parts. So instead, I broke out my snow cone icemaker, and whipped up a spiced cider simple syrup to drizzle over the ice. We did a virgin version that is kid-friendly too, but there’s no reason you couldn’t add in a shot of rum or whiskey at the end to make for a refreshing snow cone cocktail. Find the recipe below…
Homemade Spiced Apple Cider Snow Cones
- 1 ½ cups spiced apple cider (store-bought, or you can make your own using this recipe, sans the alcohol)
- 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
- plenty of ice cubes
- a pinch of cinnamon
- cinnamon sticks, for garnish
- rum or whiskey, optional
- Mix equal parts sugar and cider in a saucepan over low-medium heat. Simmer until liquid reduces by half. Set aside to cool. (Note: If you allow your mixture to simmer for too long, it will reduce further and become overly sticky. You want it syrupy, but still thin enough to easily pour over the ice.)
- Using a snow cone machine or ice crusher (a blender will also do in a pinch, but won’t have quite the same texture), crush enough ice to fill four small glasses. Pack the ‘snow’ in tightly, and form a rounded snowball on the top.
- Pour your simple syrup over each mound of ice. Sprinkle with a pinch of cinnamon and garnish with a cinnamon stick. Add a shot of alcohol to each glass for a spiked version. Enjoy!
One other tip is that if you are making several of these drinks for a party, you can make the crushed ice well ahead of time and then store it in the freezer for whenever you need it. The simple syrup will also keep for quite a while at room temperature in a sealed jar.
Are you going to give this drink recipe a try?
I hope that my fellow Californians appreciate this recipe as much as I do! And for those of you with real weather, maybe you can make yours with actual snow.