By Molly Snyder Senior Writer Published Oct 12, 2021 at 2:01 PM

’Tis Dining Month, the tastiest time of year! This means we’re dishing up fun and fascinating food content throughout October. Dig in, Milwaukee!

Fall weather is finally in the forecast which means mugs of boozy hot or cold cider are on the horizon for some of us.

And cider is the social butterfly of the cocktail world; the fruity beverage commingles with just about every spirit. So when picking a recipe, it boils down to which libation sounds the best to you.

Whatever you choose to mix into your hot cider drink, consider “Milwaukee-izing” it with local beverages.

For cider, grab a jug of Patterson Orchards Cider from Outpost Natural Foods. Otherwise most farm stands at your favorite apple- or pumpkin-picking farm will most likely sell a luscious cider.

Here are some Brew City takes on rum, brandy, bourbon, and honey vodka cider recipes. Every ingredient other than the booze and the cider are “perfect world” ingredients. Whatever you have is enough. 

Hot Brewtown Rum-ble


1 cup Twisted Path dark rum
2 quarts apple cider
1 apple
2 teaspoons whole clove
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 teaspoon allspice
Pinch of grated nutmeg
Cinnamon sticks, garnish

Yields 6-ish servings

Push cloves into apple. In a medium pot, combine the studded apple and remaining ingredients except the rum. Over low heat, slowly bring to a simmer. Simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and add the rum. Toss the apple. Ladle into mugs and garnish each with a cinnamon stick. Serve immediately.

Up Nort’s Boilin’ Apple Brandy


1 cup Great Lakes Distillery’s Brightonwoods Apple Brandy
1/2 gallon apple cider
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1/4 cup Kallas honey
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
Pinch of salt
Cinnamon sticks, garnish

6-ish servings

Combine apple cider, apple brandy, 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon brown sugar, honey, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, pepper and salt in a pot over medium-high heat. Simmer for 10 minutes, then pour apple cider mixture into mugs. Add 1 cinnamon stick to each mug.

Easy-as-Honeypie (Cold) Cider Bourbon


3 ounces Central Standard’s Red Cabin Bourbon
4 ounces sparkling cider
1 ounce Kallas honey
1 1/2 ounces lemon juice
2 tablespoons chopped fresh ginger
Mint leaves
Apple wedges for garnish

2 servings

Combine the ginger, mint and honey in a cocktail shaker. Muddle the mixture until the ginger and mint leaves become fragrant. Add the lemon juice and bourbon along with some ice and shake to combine. Add ice to 2 rocks glasses. Divide the bourbon mixture; top off each glass with sparkling cider. Garnish with your favorite apple wedges.

Hot Leon Toddy


1 ½ ounces Great Lakes Distillery’s Rehorst Honey Vodka
6 ounces apple cider
2 ounces water
1 teaspoon grated ginger
Pinch of nutmeg
1 teaspoon lemon juice
½ teaspoon honey (or less )
Cinnamon stick, apple slice or lemon for garnish

Makes 1 serving

Mix cider, water, ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg in a small saucepan and simmer. Combine vodka and lemon juice in a mug. Strain the hot cider into the mug, discarding the solids. Stir in honey until dissolved. Taste, adding more lemon or honey to balance the drink if needed. Garnish and enjoy.

Molly Snyder started writing and publishing her work at the age 10, when her community newspaper printed her poem, "The Unicorn.” Since then, she's expanded beyond the subject of mythical creatures and written in many different mediums but, nearest and dearest to her heart, thousands of articles for OnMilwaukee.

Molly is a regular contributor to FOX6 News and numerous radio stations as well as the co-host of "Dandelions: A Podcast For Women.” She's received five Milwaukee Press Club Awards, served as the Pfister Narrator and is the Wisconsin State Fair’s Celebrity Cream Puff Eating Champion of 2019.