An Autumn Cocktail

The "Apple Jack", created by yours truly (photo: Steve Dolinsky)

I’m getting ready to go guest bartend at an event tonight (fundraiser for the kids’ school) and I was planning on bringing two drinks, already made in batches, so I wouldn’t have to be so meticulous about pouring out one ounce at a time. The Hemingway Daiquiri is my go-to, and I know that one cold: equal parts fresh lime and grapefruit juice (3/4 oz each), an ounce of simple syrup, two ounces rum (I like a 7 yr. Flor de Caña), a little less than a quarter ounce maraschino liqueur all shaken over ice and strained. But for my second drink, I wanted to try something seasonal.


I saw a bottle of Gran Torres 10 Gran Reserva Imperial Brandy in my cabinet. I spotted a huge jug of Zeigler’s fresh apple cider in the fridge. I figured those two would work together, and the natural sweetness of the cider would mean I wouldn’t need additional simple syrup. I then thought of adding a just a small amount of Velvet Falernum, another Caribbean spirit I use sometimes when making rum drinks. I went with 1.5 ounces of the brandy, an ounce of the cider and just a trace – maybe 1/4 ounce of the falernum.  Shaken over ice then poured over some nice, clean ice cubes, I finished it off with two dashes of cherry bitters. Voila! I’m calling it the Apple Jack. Cheers.


The Apple Jack

1.5 oz. Torres Gran Reserva Imperial Brandy

1 oz. freshly-pressed apple cider (not from concentrate)

1/4 oz. Velvet Falernum

two dashes cherry bitters


Add first three ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake vigorously until sides turn cold. Strain and pour over new ice cubes in a rocks glass; add bitters.

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