Jack-in-the-Box

So earlier in the week I found myself craving some apple brandy (or at least the blend that is Applejack). It’s been almost 4 years since I last had some, and despite being a little over my current budget I decided to pick some up. After trying a few new brandy cocktails from my recipe book, this one jumped off the page as a good choice for a hot summers day (when it’s still spring).

Like most drinks shaken with pineapple juice the final pour creates it’s own unique frothy garnish. The drink begins with a light and sweet apple aroma, but it is very subtle. For the taste profile it begins with a similar light apple flavor that the aroma presents with, moves to complex pineapple juice on the mid palette, and finishes with the “grain spirits” flavor from the Applejack’s blended component. The finish is really the most complex and re-inviting flavor. Applejack as a whole doesn’t actually contain a ton of apple brandy, and it instead feels almost like a weak whiskey than a complex flavored brandy. I have found that in other recipes that add a little syrup and a little more citrus bring out the apple flavor a lot more, so a variation on this with a half ounce of lemon juice and a half of simple syrup could round out the cocktail a bit more. As is though it’s not a bad cocktail, but it does have room to improve. At the very least it needs 3 dashes of bitters rather than 1.

Alcohol Taste Rating: 6.5/10
Overall Rating 7.2/10

Jack-in-the-Box

1 1/2 oz Applejack (or other apple brandy)
1 1/2 oz Pineapple Juice
Dash of Lemon Juice (1 fresh wedge)
Dash of Aromatic Bitters

Shake all with ice. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass, or over ice in a rocks glass.

Jack in the Box

“You don’t know jack!”

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Apple Swizzle

Today we get our first taste of fall (although the start of the season is still a few weeks off). The apple swizzle highlights a new ingredient in my bar “apple brandy.” Now my recipe for this drink calls for an iced highball glass, although given the small size of the drink I feel anything bigger than a lowball or tumbler will make the drink seem silly and out of place a bit. The drink is characterized by a tan color and smells mildly of apples, but leans closer to a bourbon smell (this could be use of the applejack as it is made primarily with neutral grain spirits). The drink starts on a mild sweet then moves the a slight rum and bitters burn. The apple brandy comes through in a lingering aftertaste which makes you go back for more. If you have some apple brandy around or are thinking of picking some up this season, you may want to give this one a try. Just be sure to go easy on the bitters (or be wise about which ones you use). This is one drink where they can be overpowering. I do wonder how different this drink would be with some cherry bitters to liven up the harvest.

Apple Swizzle

1/2 oz Apple Brandy
1 oz Light Rum
3/4 oz Lime Juice
2-4 Dashes of Aromatic Bitters
1 Teaspoon SugarLime Slice

Straight build over ice in a tumbler. Stir well and garnish with a lime slice.

apple swizzle

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