There was one good thing about being at the kiddie table at our Thanksgiving dinners when I was little:
The sparkling apple cider.
It came in real grown up wine glasses. We'd make snooty faces and toast each other while holding up our little pinkies, then sip at the delicious bubbly stuff and giggle. It was fancy in a glass. So of course, I carried the tradition on for our holidays. We don't have a kiddie table, at least not officially, but we do have the crystal stemware filled with what my kids reverently call the sparkly apple cider.
I like that name even better. Very festive.
Now, when it's August, and there are no official, formal, holidays to celebrate, you can still get that special occasion feeling. All you need is sparkly apple cider. And an ice cream machine.
Sparkly Cider Sorbet
This qualifies for Shortcut Week in two ways. First, you basically just need a bottle opener and an ice cream machine (OK, not everybody has that, but if you do...). No cooking! And second, you get to skip a bunch of months and go right to Thanksgiving, just for a minute. The sorbet is sweet and tangy and absolutely refreshing, still a tiny bit carbonated, and brings the fall flavor of apples to a dessert made for hot summer nights.
1 bottle sparkling apple cider, chilled
1/2 c. simple syrup*
juice of 1 large lemon
a splash of Calvados liquor, optional
pinch of salt
Combine all ingredients, then process in an ice cream maker as directed. If you serve right away**, the sorbet will be soft and the tiniest bit slushy. We like ours like that. We also like this with all the varieties of sparkly ciders***.
Click to print this recipe!
* Equal parts water and sugar, boiled together for a few minutes and then cooled. If this sentence is giving you deja vu, it should. I used it in the footnote to the post on the remarkably similar and equally festive Sangria Sorbet. Of the two, my kids vastly prefer this one.
** You should definitely get out some pretty glasses, and add on a mint sprig, if you have one. That's the fancy way to go.
*** Apple-Grape, anyone?