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Virginia’s Apple Bourbon Cider

I am so excited to have Virginia Willis with us today! She has cooked Lapin Normandie with Julia Child, prepared lunch for President Clinton, and catered a bowling party for Jane Fonda. She began her culinary career tossing pizzas in college, has since foraged for wild herbs in the Alps, made mustard in Dijon, crushed olives in California, and harvested capers in the shadow of a smoldering volcano in Sicily.

Virginia has produced over 1000 TV episodes, working for Martha Stewart, Bobby Flay, and Epicurious on The Discovery Channel. She has been featured in USA Today, Country Living, and House Beautiful as well as Food52 and CNN.com. She is a contributing editor to Southern Living and her writing has been published in Family Fun, Fine Cooking, and Taste of the South. She has appeared on Martha Stewart Living Television, Paula Deen’s Best Dishes, Real Simple Television, The Weather Channel, and Thrown Down with Bobby Flay.

Fall is one of my favorite times of the year. I love the smells, the sights, the colors. It’s wonderful when the produce starts to change. Living in Georgia, apples are a favorite fall fruit, and I try to make a trip to the mountains for apples every year. I then make apple butter, apple jelly, and apple pies. Another tradition is to also buy freshly pressed apple cider, which was my favorite drink even as a toddler. Now that I am a grown-up, my tastes run a bit more mature, and my preferred adult beverage is bourbon! This rich cider marries wonderful fall flavors in one glass. Ginger and lemon gives it some kick and temper the sweetness, apples layer the flavor, and thyme rounds it out with savory aroma. Bon Appétit, Y’all! – Virginia

Virginia’s Apple Bourbon Cider
Serves 2

  • 3/4 cup freshly pressed apple cider
  • 1/3 cup Bourbon
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 thin slices fresh ginger
  • 2 thin slices apple, for garnish
  • 2 sprigs thyme, for garnish.

    Combine apple cider, bourbon, and lemon juice in a shaker. Shake to combine. Pour into rocks glass over ice. Garnish with ginger, apples, and thyme. Enjoy!

    photos by jona willis

    For more about Virginia visit virginiawillis.com

    She is the author of Bon Appétit, Y’all! Recipes and Stories from Three Generations of Southern Cooking (Ten Speed Press, 2008). Her latest book, Basic to Brilliant, Y’all: 150 Refined Southern Recipes and Ways to Dress Them Up for Company (Ten Speed Press, 2011) was rated as one of the top rated cookbooks of 2011. Virginia was also recently named by the Chicago Tribune as one of “Seven Food Writers You Need to Know.”

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