Summer of cider

Provided photoCheddar Bacon Burger Sliders with Barbecue Sauce & Charred Jalapeño Relish is seen in this photo.

(NAPS) — Invitations to your barbecues will get a warm welcome with these sensational sliders and a refreshing hard cider to go with them.

Celebrated Chef Kevin Gillespie is taking the classic burger up a notch with Angry Orchard Crisp Apple. Hard cider adds sweetness to balance the spicy tangy notes of this summertime favorite.

Cheddar Bacon Burger Sliders with Barbecue Sauce & Charred Jalapeño Relish

Makes 8 sliders

Barbecue sauce:

2 teaspoons ground black pepper

6 cloves of garlic, minced

1 dried bay leaf

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

2 tablespoons hot chili powder

¾ cup packed light-brown sugar

2 cups Angry Orchard Crisp Apple

3 cups apple-cider vinegar

1 12-ounce can tomato puree

½ cup molasses

½ teaspoon liquid smoke

2 tablespoons kosher salt


8 ea jalapeño peppers

1 cup pickled jalapeño pepper slices

1 tablespoon Angry Orchard Crisp Apple

1 clove garlic, chopped

¹/4 cup sweet onion, chopped

1 teaspoon finely ground black pepper

2 teaspoons minced cilantro

1 teaspoon lime juice


12 oz ground beef chuck

12 ounce ground smoked bacon

8 ounce shredded sharp cheddar cheese

Salt and pepper to taste

8 each buns, toasted

For the barbecue sauce, combine all ingredients in a small saucepan. Bring mixture to a boil and reduce to low. Cook 30 minutes, then cool to room temperature. Remove bay leaf and discard. Blend with an immersion blender to smooth.

For the relish, char the raw jalapeños on all sides directly over an open gas burner or in a very hot cast-iron pan. Place charred peppers in a bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and cool to room temperature. Slip off charred skins, discarding stem and seeds. Place roasted peppers in food processor along with all other relish ingredients. Pulse for a coarse, salsalike texture. Remove and chill.

Heat grill to medium-high heat. Mix ground beef, bacon and cheese and portion the mixture out into 8 equal balls. Smash balls down to ½-inch thickness and season the outsides with salt and pepper. Place the burgers on the grill and cook until the cheese begins to melt from the meat, approximately 2 minutes a side. Baste the bur­gers with the barbecue sauce, then remove from the grill and let burgers rest 2 minutes before serving. Top burgers with spoonful of jalapeño relish and extra barbecue sauce on the side.

Hard cider is a refreshing alternative to beer and wine and is a versatile ingredient for a variety of warm weather dishes.

Great-tasting sliders and hard cider can add zest to your next barbecue.
Provided photoCheddar Bacon Burger Sliders with Barbecue Sauce & Charred Jalapeño Relish is seen in this photo.
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