Apple Jack Cocktail

Apple Jack Cocktail

1 Dash Angostura Bitters.
1/2 Italian Vermouth. (1 1/2 oz Cinzano Sweet Vermouth)
1/2 Calvados. (1 1/2 oz Laird’s 100 proof Bonded Apple Brandy*)

Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.

Seemed wrong to make the “Apple Jack Cocktail” with Calvados instead of Apple Jack. Downright unamerican, even! Oh, and forgive my feeble attempt at an apple twist garnish. That was just a bad idea. The previous simple thin horizontal slice of apple was much better.

This is a quite nice cocktail. You’d probably have to order it as an “Apple Jack Manhattan” to get it at a bar today. But, if you like Manhattans, it’s a good change of pace from the usual Rye or Bourbon.

*Laird & Company is a great old American company whose family has been making Apple Spirits for longer than there has been a United States of America. They make several Apple Jack and Apple Brandy products. The one you are most likely to see is their 80 proof “Apple Jack.” This product is made by blending Apple Brandy with Neutral Spirits. It’s OK. It really is more of a blended Whisky (think Canadian) than a true fruit brandy. I don’t believe they started making the blended product until some time after prohibition, so when you see “Apple Jack” called for in an older recipe, it is better to stick with a 100% Apple Brandy, like Laird’s 100 Proof Apple Brandy, another American Apple Brandy, or Calvados.

This post is one in a series documenting my ongoing effort to make all of the cocktails in the Savoy Cocktail Book, starting at the first, Abbey, and ending at the last, Zed.

2 thoughts on “Apple Jack Cocktail

  1. Lisa Laird told me that they started blending their applejack in the 1970s. The reason, she says, was to address the vodka boom and the growing demand for lighter flavored spirits. Also interesting is the fact that for decades — nay, centuries — they resisted the use of the word “applejack,” since that was associated with the lower-end, freeze-distilled DIY stuff.

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