A week ago, I didn't think I'd be able to write this post about autumnal drinks. But then the fog rolled in, and with it came the rain, and then all of a sudden it did feel like fall. The proverbial frost is on the proverbial pumpkin. Which is great news, because now I can tell you about this great new book of cocktail recipes from Scott Beattie, the man behind the bar at Cyrus in Healdsburg, called Artisanal Cocktails: Drinks inspired by the seasons from the bar at Cyrus. It's a lovely little volume and would make a nice holiday gift—and today we present you with a teaser, Beattie's recipe for a drink he calls "Autumn Apple." Just the thing to make for your pumpkin carving party, or to sip while you await the trick-or-treaters. Note: Beattie's original cocktail recipe calls for a layer of apple foam, a fun, frothy concoction that requires a whipped cream canister. Since this isn't necessarily a household tool, we sampled it without the foam—still delicious, but it won't look exactly like the picture.
Makes 1 cocktail
Many people who have had the Autumn Apple say that it actually tastes like fall. The classic combination of spicy ginger and tart baked apple flavors pairs remarkably well with our local Germain-Robin apple brandy. This brandy is made like a well-aged Cognac except the distiller begins with apple cider instead of grape wine.
11/2 ounces Germain-Robin apple brandy
1/4 ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 ounce Nana Mae’s Gravenstein apple juice
1/2 ounce Sonoma Sparkler sparkling apple cider
1/4 ounce Ginger Simple Syrup (see recipe below)
2 Dehydrated Apple Chips, for garnish (see recipe below)
Cinnamon, for garnish (optional)
Sugar, for garnish (optional)
Marigold petals, for garnish
Place a V-shaped glass in the freezer to chill.
Combine the apple brandy, juices, cider, and syrup in a mixing glass and stir well. Add enough ice to fill the mixing glass, cover, and shake hard for 7 seconds. Strain into the chilled glass, sprinkle with a little cinnamon and sugar and garnish with marigold petals and apple chips.
Ginger Simple Syrup
Makes 3/4 cup (enough for about 24 cocktails)
3/4 cup simple syrup, chilled (see page 20)
1 drop essential oil of ginger
Combine the simple syrup and essential oil in an airtight container and shake well. The syrup will keep for 3 to 4 weeks refrigerated in the airtight container.
Dehydrated Apple Chips
Makes about 8 chips (enough for 4 cocktails)
1 small apple
1/2 cup simple syrup (see page 20)
Cinnamon, for sprinkling
Sugar, for sprinkling
Using a sharp knife or mandolin, cut as many 1/4-inch-thick slices from the apple as you can, removing the seeds.
If using a food dehydrator, spray the trays with vegetable oil or lightly oil them with a paper towel. Dip the apple slices in the simple syrup (to prevent browning) and shake off any excess syrup. Lay the slices on the rack. Sprinkle each slice with a little bit of cinnamon and sugar. Dehydrating will take 24 to 36 hours, depending on the thickness of the slice.
If using the oven, preheat it to 150°F. Lay the apple slices on a silicone mat and sprinkle each with a little bit of cinnamon and sugar. Place the silicone mat on the center rack in the oven and bake for 5 hours, until almost all of the moisture is gone. Set the chips on a wire rack to cool. They will be warm, soft, and limp for a few minutes and will harden as they cool, just like cookies fresh from the oven. Stored in an airtight container, the chips will keep for 2 to 3 days.
Reprinted from Artisanal Cocktails: Drinks inspired by the seasons from the bar at Cyrus by Scott Beattie. Published by Ten Speed Press (2008). Photographs by Sara Remington. To purchase, visit tenspeed.com