To Do This Weekend: Mix up the Last of Summer

Behold, fall is almost upon us.  The transition can be tough, with shorter days, less sunshine, cooler temperatures, and often a change of routine.

Ease into the season this Labor Day weekend with a couple of fun late summer/early autumn cocktail recipes.  Replacing wine with hard cider in this sangria is the perfect way to add an autumnal twist on a summer cocktail classic.  And the vanilla and pear combo is reminiscent of wintertime, but when served over lots of ice, it proves to be a refreshing fall sipper.  Invite some friends over to ring in the new season, enjoy a cocktail that hints at the upcoming season’s bounty, and all of the good that is ahead.

hard cider sangria


  • 1 cup quartered and thinly sliced unpeeled green, yellow and red apples
  • 1 navel orange—quartered and thinly sliced crosswise
  • 1 cup apple juice, chilled
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup apple brandy
  • One 22-ounce bottle hard apple cider, chilled
  • Ice

Mix ingredients in pitcher; pour into individual glasses on the rocks.  Serves 4.

vanilla-pear cocktail


  • 12 ounces pear juice
  • 6 oz vodka
  • 1/2 vanilla bean, seeds scraped
  • vanilla sugar, for rim (optional)
  • 2 cups ice, divided

Mix pear juice and vodka in a pitcher or shaker. Split open the vanilla bean, and scrape the seeds into the juice and vodka. Add 1 cup ice, then give it a good shake. Pour into cocktail glasses over more ice and serve with sugared rim, if desired.  Serves 4.


images and recipes adapted from foodandwine, two-tarts, howlatthemoon


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