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Apple Distelfink (A Pennsyltucky Drink)

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For readers unfamiliar with my blog, the focus here is all things veggie in Central Pennsylvania in the USA. This region, much of it Amish country, still has a lot of culinary influences from our German, Polish and other ancestors, many of whom assume bacon is more of a seasoning and herb rather than animal derived. Thus the name of my blog, Bacon is NOT an Herb, and general theme of sharing regional restaurant reviews and recipes to veganize.

For regular subscribers of my blog, you have stepped into the midst of a Virtual Vegan Potluck! Don’t miss any of the delicious excitement and start with the first courses at our host site, Vegan Bloggers Unite. Just follow the navigation prompts on every page to enjoy dozens of vegan creations made just for this potluck.

Allow me to offer you a cold drink to go along with your meal. An Apple Distelfink can be enjoyed, much a like a beer, sipped throughout your meal or on its own. It is made with ingredients from the Pennsyltucky region and I encourage you to use local ingredients from your own area.

I took advantage of some local apples and Keewaydin Cider Mill that produces semi-dry and semi-sweet version of their hard cider. Both are vegan and made from apples in Central Pennsylvania. This recipe calls for a semi-sweet hard cider to balance the other ingredients.

Apple Distelfink
2 servings

6 medium apples (I chose our local Nittany variety which are much like the more widely available Pink Lady variety; firm, a little tart and very nice to eat)
1/2 small head of green cabbage, outer dark green leaves removed
2 cinnamon sticks
5 whole cloves
1 12oz. bottle semi-sweet hard cider, chilled

Run the cabbage then apples through a juicer. This should yield 2 – 3 cups of juice depending on your variety of apples. Juice more apples if your variety of choice is not yielding enough liquid.

Allow the juice to stand and, for aesthetic purposes only, skim the 1/4 cup or so of solids off of the top. The opaque solids tend to brown and float; when they are removed the juice should be quite clear. Add the cinnamon sticks, cloves and transfer to a tightly covered container. Refrigerate for 24 hours or at least overnight.

Skim off any solids that may have floated to the top and discard along with the whole cloves. Divide the juice between 2 stemmed beer glasses and top each with the hard cider. Garnish with cinnamon sticks and apple slices (the latter wiped with lemon juice to keep it from oxidizing).

The flavor and effervescence of an Apple Distelfink can be compared to a lightly fruited beverage much like many popular wheat beers. The green cabbage, a Pennsyltucky standard in many dishes, adds a peppery note to the apple butter spicing and the alcohol content is low.

In the spirit of what a Distelfink (thistle-finch) represents on Pennsylvania Dutch folk art, let us raise our glasses and wish each other Guttes Essen and Gesundheit (Good eats and health)! A vegan potluck virtually guarantees us all of both.

About trueindigo

vegan, runner, blogger, mom, model, artist, tarot reader.

31 responses »

  1. Dude! This looks incredible… apples, cider + cinnamon and I’m ready to party! Your recipe is on my list to try out, for sure. Love the name of your blog!

  2. Can’t wait to try this! πŸ™‚

  3. I can’t wait to try this!!!

  4. That looks delicious! I love the addition of cinnamon and cloves.

  5. I’ve been dying to know what this drink was all about! So interesting – and it sounds absolutely delicious and refreshing! Yum!! Cheers, Terri! (Love the glasses!)

  6. I was just in Harrisburg for work yesterday…it was a nice drive through PA Dutch country πŸ™‚ I’ve never heard of this drink, but it sounds really good! I love apple cider, so I’ll have to try this one out.

  7. This looks so unique and refreshing! Definitely my kind of drink πŸ™‚

  8. I love a good hard cider, but with the addition of apples?!?! Soooo good!

  9. Food Stories

    Just making my way through the virtual vegan potluck and wanted to say hello πŸ™‚

  10. How creative! I love the apple slices as garnish.

  11. Thank you – just what I needed πŸ™‚

  12. This sounds delicious- anything with apples and cloves sounds right up my alley!

  13. I love hard ciders and this is a fantastic twist! Wish I had one right now for real!

  14. What a neat idea! I would never have thought to do this. Mat is a big apple cider fan, I will have to check this out. Let me know if you’d like to do another guest blog post on VBU, I’m more than happy to have you. Thanks for the link/shout out. πŸ™‚ L

  15. Pingback: Virtual Vegan Potluck – Beverage: Frosty Strawberry Lemonade with Mint « Good Clean Food

  16. Richgail Enriquez

    Wow, I’ve never hear of Apple Distelfink before, I’m glad I found it through your blog. Btw, awesome title blog! Central PA and the blogosphere are lucky to have your recipes πŸ™‚

  17. Thanks for sharing. Looks tasty. πŸ™‚

  18. Oh wow, this sounds amazing and possibly could be served warm in winter? My toes are cold and I’d like a warm one, please. πŸ™‚

  19. I love cider! This sounds fantastic!

  20. Pingback: Sunday Funday | The Hearty Herbivore

  21. Yum πŸ™‚ Thanks!!

  22. Cabbage? That is very interesting…I may have to give this one a try. πŸ™‚

  23. This is my first visit here and I absolutely love the concept of your blog. Great name too, coming from a bacon fan πŸ™‚ Cheers!

  24. We’re having a terrible summer and I could totally go for a large glassful of that refreshing drink right now. And those apple slices you’ve used for garnishing look so cute. πŸ™‚


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