Apple cocktails: in the wrong hands, they’re a very bad idea. (Recall the ’00s, the decade of the appletini.) But done right, the forbidden fruit yields a fine drink. At Forequarter—the newest restaurant from Underground Food Collective, whose much-loved and short-lived Kitchen succumbed to a fire last year—bartender Davin Biefer has done the mighty apple one better, stirring Jamaican rum with aged apple brandy, cinnamon-spiked cognac and a nip of homemade amaro di mele, a bitter apple liqueur.
“It’s very autumnal,” he says, describing the Drei Apfel, which means “three apples” in German—a nod to the brandy, amaro and garnish in the drink. “The rum is caramelly and candy-like, and mellows the fire in the brandy.”
Dry and fragrant, the cocktail tastes, amazingly, like real fruit. Consider it a worthy companion to, or even a substitute for, a slice of apple pie.
RECIPE: Drei Apfel
The bitter apple liqueur, amaro di mele, is made by steeping apple peels, lemon peels, cinnamon, coriander, cinchona bark, cassia chips, allspice and cloves in bourbon for three weeks, then straining and making a tea from the solids, steeping that for three weeks, and blending the resulting liquids to taste. The cinnamon tincture is made with cinnamon and cognac. If you make this at home, I commend you.
1 1/2 oz. Laird’s 7 1/2-Year-Old Apple Brandy 1/2 oz. Smith & Cross Jamaica Rum 3/4 oz. amaro di mele 1 barspoon maple syrup 5 dashes cinnamon tincture 5 dashes homemade aromatic bitters (or substitute Angostura) Apple “coin,” for garnish
Stir all ingredients with ice. Strain into glass over fresh ice. Garnish with apple coin.
Recipe courtesy of Forequarter, 708 1/4 E. Johnson St., 609-4717, undergroundfoodcollective.org/forequarter.
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