How ’Bout Them Apples?

Eight spicy, boozy, thirst-quenching hacks for New England’s most ubiquitous autumn fruit.

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Swedish Apple Pie Ice Cream, Gracie’s Ice Cream

At his standout Somerville scoop shop, co-owner Aaron Cohen mashes two childhood favorites—vanilla-bean ice cream and his grandmother’s crustless apple pie—into one irresistible amalgam. $4.70 for a large serving.

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Cinnamon Cider Syrup, Wood’s Cider Mill

Willis and Tina Wood have been two of the biggest proponents behind the resurgence of boiled cider, which they cut with maple syrup and cinnamon for a superb waffle or ice cream topper. $11, available at Red Apple Farm inside the Boston Public Market.


German Apfel Streusel, Clear Flour Bread

This Brookline bakery unleashes its addictive streusel (not strudel), shingled with Granny Smith apples and a buttery almond crumble, for an all-too-brief moment in the fall. $6.70 for a small serving.

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Apple Brandy, GrandTen Distilling

Aged in charred oak barrels and fermented with six apple varieties, GrandTen’s long-gestating applejack brandy will finally be available at the Southie distillery this fall. $35 for a 375 ml. bottle.


Marshall’s Haute Sauce: Ghost Chili Apple

Punch up your slaw or add a tantalizing piquancy to pulled pork with this smoky, Portland, Oregon-based hot sauce made from honeycrisp apples, organic ghost peppers, and Jacobsen sea salt. $13 at Formaggio Kitchen;

Farmer Fizz

Once the preferred restorative of 17th-century New England dairy farmers, switchel is making a comeback thanks to local artisans, who are fortifying the mouth-puckering blend of maple syrup, apple cider vinegar, and ginger with new ingredients such as fresh citrus and blackstrap molasses. Here, three favorites to try now.

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Haymaker’s Punch, Mei Mei

A fixture of its food-truck menu since 2012, the switchel at Mei Mei is customized with local honey and a rotating selection of fruit bitters. $3 for a 16 oz. glass.

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Switchel Syrup, Carr’s Ciderhouse

This Hadley cidery combines its apple “ciderhouse” syrup and vinegar into a versatile concentrate that will bolster everything from club soda to glazed pork loin. $16 for a 12 oz. bottle, available at American Provisions.


Switchel, Vermont Switchel Company

Susan Alexander gives this family recipe an Arnold Palmer-like twist with an invigorating jolt of freshly squeezed lemon. $3.50 for a 12 oz. bottle, available at Siena Farms inside the Boston Public Market.

Photographs by Toan Trinh