For this past President’s Day, I decided to create something that used American ingredients. Patriotic, right? Well, mainly it seemed like it would be delicious. That’s really my primary concern when putting together a cocktail. I also wanted to explore a bit and see if I could get some apple flavor in there without just pouring whiskey into apple juice.
So … we have something a little unique, here. I took sparkling apple cider (the non-alcoholic kind), added some sugar and spices, and reduced it down by about half to create a syrup. This is a really easy process, not much different from making simple syrup, so don’t let it scare you away from making this drink!
Once I had the syrup ready, I mixed it with bourbon and a bit of corn whiskey … which is basically un-aged bourbon. Finally I added lemon juice to cut the sweetness and a splash more sparkling cider to give it a little fizz.
The result is still on the sweet side, but pretty delicious. If you like a drier drink, in general, then I suggest cutting the apple syrup to a quarter of an ounce.
- 2.25 oz. Bourbon (I used Tuthilltown Hudson 4-Grain)
- .75 oz. Non-Alcoholic Sparkling Apple Cider (I like Martinelli’s)
- .5 oz. Apple Syrup (see below)
- .25 oz. Corn Whiskey (George Dickel No. 1 is just arriving on shelves)
- .25 oz. Lemon Juice
- Dash Aromatic Bitters (Consider Bitters Old Men Gangsta Lee’n)
Combine all ingredients except cider in a cocktail shaker over ice and shake thoroughly. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass, top with the cider, and stir gently. Garnish with a lemon twist.
- 1 Cup Non-Alcoholic Sparkling Apple Cider
- 2 tbsp. Sugar
- 1/2 stick Cinnamon
- 1 Star Anise
- 1 Chunk of Peeled Fresh Ginger (about the size of a pencil eraser)
- 5 Black Peppercorns
Combine all ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring until sugar incorporates. As soon as it boils, reduce the heat to a simmer and let the syrup reduce by half. Cool, strain, and bottle. Keeps in the fridge for about a month.
This article is a modified and enhanced version of a post that ran on my nightly cocktail blog, DrinkShouts.