A Bourbon Gal in Utah

cocktails, cookery & occasional domestic badassery

Archive for the tag “applejack”

Fall Fandango

The Fall Fandango Silver rum, Applejack, stout beer syrup, cardamom & chocolate bitters, and apple Pok Pok

The Fall Fandango
Silver rum, Applejack, stout beer syrup, cardamom & chocolate bitters, and apple Pok Pok

This rum based cocktail combines my favorite flavors of fall: apples, coffee, chocolate, and rum. Yum!

The Fall Fandango

1.5 oz white rum (I used Sugar House Distilling’s Silver Rum)

0.75 oz Laird’s Applejack

0.75 oz chocolate-coffee stout syrup*

0.5 oz Pok Pok apple sipping vinegar

2 dashes cardamom bitters

2 dashes chocolate bitters

tiny splash of seltzer

To a mixing glass filled with ice, add all ingredients. Stir for 50 revolutions. Strain into a highball glass over a bigass ice cube infused with some cacao nibs (about ¼ tsp per cube). Splash in a teaspoon or two of seltzer. Garnish with thin apple slices. Drizzle apple slices with a little more of the beer syrup.

Chocolate coffee stout beer syrup

Chocolate coffee stout beer syrup

*To make beer syrup: to a heavy non-reactive saucepan, add 2 cups of beer. For this cocktail, I used Epic Brewing’s Big Bad Baptist, a stout beer made with cacao and coffee and finished in whiskey barrels. I know, it seems a shame to make syrup out of this amazing beer, but it’s worth it! Bring the beer to a slight boil over med-high heat, then reduce heat to med-low, stir often to prevent scorching, and simmer until the beer is reduced by half (about 30 minutes). Remove from the heat, and cool for about 5-10 minutes at room temp. Add 1 cup raw (turbinado or demerara) sugar and keep stirring until all the sugar is dissolved. Cool completely to room temp, pour the syrup into a lidded jar, and refrigerate until ready to use. It’ll keep for a couple of weeks in the fridge.  

 

The story behind the drink….

About a year and a half ago, I got a call from a colleague who works in philanthropy for a local museum. They were putting together live auction items for their annual gala, and for one item they were planning an “Ultimate Chocolate Experience” private VIP dinner, since the museum had just launched a wildly successful visiting Chocolate exhibit (for which I’d written a promo piece for my other gig at cityhomeCOLLECTIVE). They asked if I’d be willing to create a chocolate-themed original cocktail for the event, to which I replied “Hell, yes!” That’s right up my alley: kind of a H.O.A.G.Y (Help Out a Gal/Guy, Yeah?) assignment on a meta level.

Long story short, some of my dear friends bid on the item and won. With everyone’s crazy busy lives, we finally saw all the stars align and had the dinner for 16 guests last weekend. It was amazing! The talented and generous folks at Millcreek Cacao Roasters provided some of their superb chocolate (really, the quality and sourcing are top notch) for the building blocks of many of my recipes. Luckily, there was a bit left over for me to eat straight from the bar!

This lucky duck is looking over my Oaxaca Old Fashioned during the very important R & D phase of my chocolate cocktail assignment

This lucky duck is looking over my Oaxaca Old Fashioned during the very important R & D phase of my chocolate cocktail assignment

I made the “Fall Fandango” rum-based cocktail using a lot of locally sourced ingredients, and it was far and away the crowd favorite. I also offered a “Oaxaca Old Fashioned” using a shot of cacao nib infused rye, ½ tsp raw sugar, a barspoon of pomegranate grenadine, and 3-4 dashes mole bitters; served over a bigass ice ball, and garnished with a candied orange slice drizzled with some Millcreek Cacao 70% chocolate (and yes, those chocolate candied oranges are insane on their own. Only 2 out of 3 made it into my cocktail kit – the others ‘mysteriously’ disappeared during my kids’ quality control check).

There are always folks who appreciate a non-alcohol option, and it’s been my point as a host to make some effort to serve a drink made with as much detail and care as the boozy crowd gets on the regular. I made a zingy and refreshing spritzer (recipe below).

Me serving up the NA spritzer. Finish it up with a straw and a chocolate drizzled candied orange slice for garnish.

Me serving up the NA spritzer. Finish it up with a straw and a chocolate drizzled candied orange slice for garnish.

Blood Orange & Chocolate Spritzer

To a tall glass filled with ice add:

0.5 oz Pok Pok blood orange sipping vinegar

3-4 dashes chocolate bitters

1 barspoon pomegranate grenadine

Stir well to combine all ingredients, and fill to the rim with seltzer (about 3-4 ounces). Serve with a straw. Garnish with a chocolate drizzled candied orange slice.

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The Poison Apple: a bright red cinnamon-apple cocktail

The Poison Apple

The Poison Apple

This week’s H.O.A.G.Y (Help Out A Gal/Guy, Yeah?) comes from my friend Sazerac –she’s from Baton Rouge, y’all—who texted me with this request:

 “I’ve decided to be Snow White for Halloween!  I want to make up a ‘poison appletini.’ Can you help me?!” 

Of course, gal!  We’ve got your adorable backside covered.  Sazerac also said it needed to be a simple cocktail, since folks would be mixing up their own at her party.

The result:  With a day or two of prep to start an infusion and freeze up some “poison apple” ice balls, the drinks only had three ingredients and they were both gorgeous and delicious, especially if you like your cocktails on the sweet-spicy side.  If you don’t have the time or equipment to freeze ice balls – which look supah cool, but I’m warning you they are a pain in the ass to remove from the trays, the red food coloring gets EVERYWHERE, and beware the red shits the next day—regular old ice cubes work just fine and the drink is still a beautiful clear red color.

24 hours + in advance:

  • Start your Cinnamon Vodka Infusion:  to a clean glass quart jar, add 25 cinncinnamon candyamon hard candies, and cover completely with not-expensive vodka (about 3 ½ cups).  Store in a cool place out of direct sunlight, and shake the jar a few times a day to dissolve the candies.  After one or two days, strain the vodka through a fine mesh strainer to remove any candy pieces that did not dissolve.  I poured the vodka into an oversized clear liquor bottle and labeled it with a cool sticker label for the party.  This will make about 20-25 cocktails.
  • Make the Poison Apple Ice balls:  I make these in my kitchen sink to trap spills.  Fill up the bottom half of your ice mold almostball ice trays all the way to the rim with water.  For a tray of 4, add about 12 drops of red food coloring and an optional 4-6 drops of cinnamon oil (available at most baking supply stores).  For cripes sake be careful with the cinnamon oil and food coloring: the former is super strong flavored, and the later will stain everyfuckingthing it touches.   Tightly secure the ice mold lid, tip it slightly to remove excess water, and move the ice mold to a flat spot in your freezer.  I put paper towels under the tray to collect the red staining water as the trays froze.
Snow White and Sexy Jesus (aka my gals Sazerac and Saketini) - Halloween 2013

Snow White and Sexy Jesus (aka my gals Sazerac and Saketini) – Halloween 2013

The Poison Apple

1 oz. red hot cinnamon-infused vodka

1 oz. Applejack (such as Laird’s)

1 oz. ginger beer (Sazerac likes using diet ginger ale)

Add all ingredients to a large wine glass or martini glass, stir gently to combine.  Add a couple of ice cubes or a poison apple ice ball.

Happy Halloween, y’all!

The Poison Apple

The Poison Apple

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