As Sean mentioned yesterday, I have been working on my first brand new cocktail. I wanted to create something that reminded me of one of my favorite times of the year, autumn in Virginia. So it kind of named itself the "Virginia Autumn." I checked a lot of cocktail databases, blogs, food websites and the Mixosphere and didn't find any drinks that used the ingredients I had in mind.
I wanted to base the drink on apples. Virginia has a lot of apples and growing up, we had a small apple orchard on our property that produced great apples, so apples it is. For the main spirit, I decided to go with Laird's Applejack because, well, it is an apple brandy and it is a true American spirit. Check out the link to learn more. I also have my new bottle of St. Germain elderflower liqueur that I really wanted to incorporate. I also wanted to add a background flavor/essence that would remind me of apple pies, fall baking/cooking and those great smells of cinnamon, nutmeg, and a warm fire. Luckily I had some Fee Brothers Whiskey Barrel-Aged Bitters that provide the perfect oaky-cinnamon-baking spice that I was looking for.
Finally, after several trials and errors, with consultation and advice from
1.5 oz Laird's Applejack
1.0 oz Apple Cider
0.5 oz St. Germain
3/4 tsp Rich Simple Syrup*
1 dash of Fee Brothers' Orange Bitters
3-4 dashes of Fee Brothers' Whiskey Barrel-Aged Bitters
Shake well with cracked ice until your hands feel like they've been blasted by a cold November wind and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a small apple slice on the rim of the glass or a paper thin round of apple floating on top.
*To make Rich Simple Syrup, heat equal parts of water and demerara sugar until dissolved. Remove from heat and let cool. Add about an ounce of high proof vodka for shelf-stability, bottle and keep in fridge.
The glass is a cocktail glass from a set my father purchased after he graduated from the University of Virginia in 1965. The rim and seal of The University are in gold leaf. This seemed a very fitting glass to my first foray into classic cocktails.
On another note. I GOT SOME NEW SUPPLIES LAST NIGHT! YEEE-HAWWWW.
I got (from left to right) some tiki and palm tree cocktail stirrers, a bottle of Fee Brothers' Orange Flower water, a bottle of Fee Brothers Orgeat syrup, a bottle of Fee Brothers West Indian Orange Bitters, a bottle of Fee Brothers Falernum (which I have been dying to get!) and a bottle of Fee Brothers Peach Bitters. Let the mixing begin!
Finally, because I love this picture so much, here you go:
This is my bottle of Thomas H. Handy Sazerac Rye Whiskey, a part of the 2006 Buffalo Trace Antique Selection. It is unfiltered and bottled at barrel strength. If you look closely, you can see the handwritten proof on the label . . . yes it does say 132.7 proof. Yes, Homer, it makes me happy too . . .