Do me a favor. Don’t call this an Apple-tini, ok?
Okay, now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, Happy Valentine’s Day! Make this drink for the apple of your eye and prepare to impress. It has all the flavors of a luscious, juicy slice of apple pie without being cloying.
The Apple of my Eye calls for a fairly well stocked liquor cabinet. You will need apple brandy or calvados, bourbon, amaretto, cardamom bitters, and hard apple cider. The cocktail also calls for a bit of brown sugar and a lemon.
As craft cocktails have become quite trendy, there’s been a revival in boutique bitters. The cardamom bitters called for in this cocktail give a nice “cookie spice” flavor note to this drink that goes really well with apple. Don’t substitute Angostura bitters, but feel free to play with vanilla or ginger bitters if you have them.
- 1 oz. apple brandy
- 1 oz. bourbon
- 5 drops or one dash cardamom bitters
- juice of half a lemon
- 2 tsp brown sugar
- 2 tsp amaretto
- 1-2 oz. hard, dry apple cider
If desired, run a wedge of lemon around the rim of a chilled cocktail glass. Turn the glass upside-down and dip the rim of the glass into unrefined sugar. Set aside.
Add all the ingredients except the hard cider to a cocktail shaker or mason jar filled with crushed ice. Shake hard and strain cocktail into the prepared glass. Top cocktail with a float of hard apple cider. Garnish with a small slice of apple and serve right away.
If you want another option for Valentine’s Day libations, I humbly recommend another favorite, The Hallmark Cocktail, which combines the flavors of flowers, chocolate and champagne into one dynamite romantic drink.
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- If you’re convinced that a good, well-stocked bar needs more than Angostura bitters, you might like Bitters: A Spirited History of a Classic Cure-All, with Cocktails, Recipes, and Formulas. This book goes into the history of bitters and teaches you how to make you own.
- Not up for DIY’ing your bitters? I like Scrappy’s Bitters (especially the grapefruit and aromatic bitters) and Bob’s Bitters (potent single-flavor bitters – the cardamom is excellent. Expensive but potent, if you can find them).
- Our favorite jigger: The OXO Steel Double Jigger. It’s fantastic.
- Homebrew Husband far prefers Boston Style cocktail shakers like this: Glass and Stainless Two Piece Boston Cocktail Shaker. Or you can use a mason jar.