Presented by Angry Orchard

(NAPSI)—As football fans everywhere celebrate with tailgating festivities and game-day grilling, many are looking for a crisp and refreshing beverage to pair with traditional barbecue favorites and infuse in exciting new recipes. Hard cider is a fruit-forward and delicious alternative to beer and wine, making it a winning refreshment and recipe ingredient no matter the score.

There are two apples in every bottle of Angry Orchard, the leading U.S. cider maker*. Crisp Apple, Angry Orchard’s most popular hard cider, is made with a blend of culinary and bittersweet apples that lends balance and complexity to its bright crisp apple taste. Crisp Apple is available in 6-packs as well as 12-oz. and 16-oz. cans, which are perfect for enjoying during outdoor tailgating parties. For an easy-drinking alternative for longer drinking occasions, try Angry Orchard Easy Apple, which is also available in 6-packs and 16-oz. cans.

Hard cider provides a natural sweetness that calms the heat of flavorful and spicy dishes, such as hot wings and barbecue, and pairs well with classic grilling eats like burgers and hot dogs.

Hard cider’s apple-forward flavor also enhances pork dishes ideal for tailgating, such as the cider-infused Pulled Pork Crostini with Caramelized Apple recipe below.

Pulled Pork Crostini with Caramelized Apple

1 bottle Angry Orchard Crisp Apple

2 pounds pork shoulder

2 Tablespoons ground cumin

3 Tablespoons smoked paprika

3 Tablespoons Kosher salt

1 large white onion, chopped

6 garlic cloves, smashed

12-ounce can crushed tomato

½ cup apple cider vinegar

Olive oil as needed

24 French bread rounds

24 fresh sage leaves

2 Cortland apples, sliced

Preheat oven to 250° F. Place pork shoulder in a baking dish and sprinkle with cumin, paprika and salt. Place white onion and garlic in pan and pour in tomato, cider and cider vinegar. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and foil and place in oven to cook until tender, approx. 3 hours; remove and let stand, loosely covered. Increase oven temperature to 350° F. Brush French bread and sage leaves lightly with olive oil and sprinkle with salt; place on baking sheet and place in oven until crispy; approx. 7 minutes. Flake apart pork shoulder with tongs or fork in a bowl, adding some of the braising liquid to the mix to taste. Place small amount of pork shoulder on croutons, and top with fresh apple slice and crispy sage; serve.

Note: Low and slow are the keys to making this pork shoulder tender and delicious; the apple cider and apple cider vinegar add enough tang and acid to help break down the meat and make it taste even better.

This dish pairs effortlessly with hard cider alone, but if you’re looking for a new tailgating tradition, try coupling it with Orchard Fest.

Orchard Fest

½ bottle Angry Orchard Crisp Apple

½ bottle Samuel Adams Octoberfest

Fill ½ pint glass with Samuel Adams Octoberfest. Top with Angry Orchard Crisp Apple.

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