Rob Melton, bartender at Salem’s popular French bistro La Capitale, created this delicate and festive cocktail featuring E.Z. Orchards French cidre:

1 ounce Berentzen apple liquor*
4 ounces chilled E.Z. Orchards cidre
Nutmeg and cinnamon stick

Shake Berentzen in an ice-filled cocktail shaker for ten to fifteen seconds. Strain into a well-chilled martini glass. Top with cidre. Garnish with a thin apple slice, and a dusting of fresh grated cinnamon and nutmeg.

*Berrentzen is a German apple schnapps available in well-stocked liquor stores. If you can’t find it, substitute another brand of apple schnapps.

Food pairings

Before prohibition spoiled all the fun, cider was one of America’s favorite drinks. With its farmhouse roots—inexpensive, relatively simple to make and a scrumptious way to use a bumper crop of apples – and low alcohol content, typically 3-7%, it was thought of as an everyday family beverage. It’s also complementary to a wide range of foods which, in turn, bring out the nuances of cider.

Try a dry cider with prosciutto and other cured meats, strong blue cheeses and farmhouse cheddars. Cidermaker Kevin Zielinski says some of his favorite pairings with French cidre are wild mushroom risotto topped with shaved manchego, roasted yellow and red pepper on crostini, creamy squash soup with a hint of fresh ginger, or simply toasted walnuts, hazelnuts, or almonds.

Bartender Rob Melton
From La Capitale in Salem, Oregon | + posts