Autumn mornings may call for pumpkin spice lattes and gluten-free maple muffins, but the crisp nights are meant for sipping on apple cider. For Well+Good’s resident cocktail expert, The Outside Institute founder Laura Silverman, spiking a jug of store-bought cider just won’t cut it. She makes her own with cider, applejack, rum, vanilla, and—wait for it—adaptogenic chaga mushrooms (in tea form). And even though it’s chilled, you’ll still feel pretty warm inside thanks to the boozy add-ins.
“Chaga is a highly medicinal fungus that grows on birch trees,” Silverman explains, adding that, on its own, it helps stimulate the immune system and keeps blood pressure levels in check. “I add vanilla bean paste for its rich flavor and rim the glass with a sugar-nutmeg blend to add aromatic sweetness,” Silverman says. Talk about a sweet finishing touch!
Ready to upgrade your fall happy hour? Scroll down for the recipe.
Adaptogenic Vanilla Apple Cider
1 oz golden rum
1 oz apple cider
1 oz applejack
1/2 oz brewed chaga tea
1/2 oz fresh lemon juice
1/2 Tsp vanilla bean paste
1 Tbsp nutmeg
1 Tbsp organic cane sugar
1. For the nutmeg-sugar rim, stir together nutmeg with organic cane sugar.
2. Dip your finger in water and run it around the rim of an empty cocktail glass. Then spread the combined nutmeg and sugar on a small plate and roll the rim of the glass in the mixture.
3. In a shaker with plenty of ice, combine rum, applejack, tea, lemon juice, and vanilla bean paste. Shake until well chilled, then pour into the rimmed glass. Cheers!
Each week, The Outside Institute founder Laura Silverman crafts a cocktail recipe just for Well+Good readers using in-season plants and herbs. Bookmark this page for more healthy cocktail ideas.
If you’re looking for more ways to experiment with adaptogens in the kitchen, try this tulsi lavender sparkling water or one of these adaptogenic snack recipes.