A Note on Gratitude & Some Cider

The past year has brought a lot of heartbreak, challenges, obstacles, moments of loss and despair. For everyone, I think. For some of us we are still in the thick of it. As hard as it is to makes space for anything in our times of struggle I think it’s exactly these moments that we need to pause and express gratitude for something in our life, no matter how big or small.

Right now I want to express some serious gratitude for Angela Packard, founder of Sweet is the Spice and all-around incredible human being! Along with her charity Heed the Need she is helping me raise funds for my six year old friend Makayla’s cancer treatments. We received some discouraging news about Makayla’s tumor this week and Angela, as always, offered her support, hope, and genuine empathy. Although we haven’t met I feel very close to her.

When my family and I received the news about Makayla earlier this year, all we wanted to do was help in any way possible. At a time when I was falling apart and not sure what I could do, Angela came to me with her incredible sponsorship opportunity to help someone I care deeply about. I really can’t express what it was like to speak with her and know that I could be active, that I could do something, and that she would help me. In reality this entire endeavor is all her doing and my family along with Makayla’s are so grateful she came into our lives!


I want to say how grateful I am to have Makayla and her family in my life. Makayla’s courage and outlook during this horrific ordeal has been beyond inspiring. I’m so grateful to be able to call such a courageous and wise kid, family. She’s without a doubt one of the strongest people I know. I’m also so grateful to all of you who have offered support and prayers, good vibes and positive energy, and who have donated funds or purchased spices to help out someone you’ve never met. A resounding thank you from my whole family and Makayla’s!

For the salted caramel recipe used in this cocktail click here. For info about Heritage Distilling Co. and their High Altitude Brown Sugar Bourbon used in the recipe, click here. 



Salted Caramel Apple Cider
Serves 4
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  1. 6 cups apple cider
  2. 1 cinnamon stick
  3. Sprig of sage
  4. 1 star anise
  5. 4 Tbsp. salted caramel
  6. 6-8 oz. Heritage Distilling High Altitude Brown Sugar Bourbon
  7. Sweet is the Spice Sweet and Salty Surrender + Orange juice for rimming the mugs
  8. Apple slices in lemon juice for garnish, optional
  1. In a medium pot, heat cider, cinnamon, sage, star anise, caramel and bourbon on low for about 20 minutes.
  2. Rim mugs with orange juice then dip in Sweet is the Spice Sweet and Salty Surrender.
  3. Carefully pour cider into mugs and garnish with apple slices and sage.
  4. Cheers!
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