Living in Connecticut, we are spoiled by the abundance of apples that are fresh out of the neighboring orchards. If you didn't make it out this past Fall to pick your own apples at Beardsley’s Cider Mill in Shelton or Silverman’s Farm on Sport Hill Road in Easton, you need to put that on your agenda next season. It’s fun for the whole family. If the crowds aren’t your thing, and you want a real farm experience, then definitely go buy local apples from Sport Hill Farm, just passed Silverman’s on the right heading north on Rt59.
To enjoy your local fruit and vegetables over the winter months, you need to preserve them. This can be accomplished in any number of methods. Some people like to pickle their vegetables while others may turn the fruit into spreads and jams. I like to use my fruit to make syrups for cocktails. My Apple Cordial recipe has to be one of my favorites to make and to drink. Although it takes several days to make the syrup, it’s not a laborious task at all. In execution, however, this cocktail is definitely a labor of love. The good news is that once all the prep is complete and it’s in your glass, you’ll realize that your efforts were worth it. It’s delicious. Another great alternative is to visit me at Luxe Wine Bar in Westport, where I will be happy to make one especially for you. The apple bitters and apple brandy can be purchased at Saugatuck Grain & Grape, also in Westport.
2 1/2 oz Laird's 7 1/2yr old Apple Brandy (not Applejack)
1/2 oz House-made Apple Cordial (recipe follows)
4 dashes Bar Keep Apple Bitters
cider foam (recipe follows)
Add all ingredients except cider foam to a mixing glass
Stir until well chilled and properly diluted
Strain into a chilled rocks glass over a large ice cube
Top with cider foam
Grate Nutmeg and Cinnamon over cocktail
1/4 oz Farm Fresh Apple Cider
1/4 oz Apple Cordial
1/4 oz Laird's 7 1/2yr old Apple Brandy
1 dash Bar Keep Apple Bitters
Freshly grated cinnamon
Freshly grated nutmeg
White of one egg (or 1 oz egg beaters)
Add ingredients to a cocktail shaker.
Shake vigorously without ice for about 15 seconds
Add ice and shake until ice starts to form on the outside of the shaker
Double strain very slowly on top of the large ice cube so that the foam will stay afloat
grate cinnamon and nutmeg on top.
6-8 Apples (sliced)
Fill a large bowl with your favorite apples. The Macoun varietal works well. But, any juicy, sweet apple will work. Toss with ground cinnamon until apples are lightly coated. Cover apples with sugar. Toss to coat with sugar. Then cover with sugar and place in the refrigerator. After 24 hours, stir the apples with a large spoon to coat with the sugar that hasn’t dissolved yet. Repeat every day until all of the sugar is dissolved. When all of the sugar is dissolved, strain through a colander into a sealable jar or bottle. Add 1 ounce apple brandy per 24 ounce of syrup. Store in the refrigerator.