Blackberry Farm

Friends of the Farm

Applejack Cider

As a child, every Sunday we would have fried apples(country apples) with our breakfast. Lunch we'd have them, too, and for dinner they were always beside some pork chops and corn bread. Sliced apples with cinnamon and spice, cooked down in a pan with a touch of sugar, we had them all the time. We're basically talking apple pie filling, but I've always favored fried apples. Maybe that it was in a more savory element, not saved for dessert, but eaten right beside the rest of your meal. Whether it be spicy sausage and eggs in the morning, or that pork roast at night, it just worked. I love those flavors and with our region bursting with fresh apples this time of year it gets me thinking about a new cocktail based on those ingredients.

Rather than making up a batch for infusing in a bottle of alcohol I wanted to really concentrate the apple flavors, so I got some fresh pressed cider from, Dustin, in the preservation kitchen for this idea. I brought the cider and traditional apple spices, (cardamon, ceylon cinnamon, allspice, and clove), just to a boil and simmered slowly for close to an hour until it was almost reduced to syrup. Strain and return to the pan, add a little sugar until it reaches that syrupy consistency and cool before storing up to 3 weeks.

It's remarkable how much acidity and pure apple flavor is retained in this easy to make syrup. The key is having fresh apple cider, though. Making the cocktail is just as simple:  apple brandy (like the old standard Laird's Apple Jack), cider syrup, a few dashes Regan's Orange Bitters, shaken and served up. Garnish with a dried or fresh apple slice floating on top for a nostalgic fall cocktail.

Applejack Cider
2.5oz Lairds AppleJack
.75oz Apple Cider Syrup
3 dashes Regans Orange Bitters
Dried Apple slice for garnish

Add ingredients to cocktail shaker with ice. Shake hard for 7 seconds. Strain into chilled cocktail glass and garnish with apple slice floating on top.

Jesse Ratliff, Mixologist