Stir with ice and strain into a rocks glass over a large ice cube.
Garnish with an apple peel wrapped around a chunk of candied ginger.
What comes to mind when you hear the word ‘apple’? Do you think sour or sweet? Red, green ,or yellow? Is it the wholesome myth of America baked into a pie, or the sinfully delicious fruit Eve extended to Adam? Me? I think of fall cocktails, specifically a calvados-based twist on a negroni.
Calvados is an apple brandy made in the Normandy region of France. Domaine Dupont’s Calvados du Pays D’Auge Vieille Reserve starts with an 80/20 mix of bittersweet to acidic apples that is mixed, crushed and pressed, then fermented for 6 months before being double-distilled in alembic stills, then aged in oak barrels. Smooth, yet strong, with a candied apple scent touched by vanilla, it’s as delicious as jumping into a pile of leaves.
Stepping in for the sweet vermouth is Rouge Gorge’s White Cider Vermouth, which is the result of applying the process of making vermouth to apple cider instead of wine. You can read more about it in my Pommetini post from this summer.
Finally, instead of Campari, I’m using 3/4 of an ounce of Cardamaro, a mildly bitter, Moscato wine-based amaro flavored with cardoons and blessed thistle, both relatives of the more familiar artichoke. It’s reminiscent of an Oloroso sherry and pairs nicely with the cocktail’s apple flavors, as does the final ingredient – 1/4 ounce Stirrings Ginger Liqueur.
For a fun garnish, I use a Y peeler to make a 3″ x 1″ strip of red apple skin, which I wrap around a chunk of candied ginger and hold together with a cocktail pick. Once my garnish is ready, I stir my ingredients in a mixing glass filled with ice and strain it over a large ice cube in a double old-fashioned glass. While cooler weather often pairs with heavier tipples, I’m enjoying this more delicate take on a fall cocktail.