The Applejack Fall old fashioned is a seasonal spin on the classic old fashioned cocktail. The Applejack old fashioned was introduced to me by my brother-in-law, Fred. Fred is a true cocktail guy so he makes cocktails by the book. He was actually a bartender in Boston for a few years while he was in law school. So you could say he “passes the bar.” GET IT? Sorry, couldn’t resist.
Fred is always whipping up some sort of infused liquor or experimenting with new cocktails. This past Thanksgiving he made a fantastic cocktail with homemade cranberry infused rum. The guy takes mixology to a whole new level, and I appreciate the heck out of it.
After Thanksgiving dinner we decided to have some post turkey coma cocktails. I requested an old fashioned and to no surprise I was presented with two options. The “fall special” or the traditional old fashioned. What kind of food blogger would I be if I hadn’t experimented with the “fall special?”
The Fall old fashioned tasted exactly how I expected it would. The secret ingredient is Laird’s Applejack brandy. It has very subtle notes of apple (and it’s actually made with fresh apples). Maple syrup is used in place of sugar or simple syrup (which is essentially sugar water), to infuse it with natural maple flavors. Fred uses whiskey barrel aged bitters, which gives the drink more of an oaky flavor. Lastly, it’s garnished with an orange peel. My personal final touch is the cinnamon stick—it completes the Fall circle of maple, orange, apple, and cinnamon. True flavors of Fall.
One last thing, don’t underestimate the power of the orange peel in an old fashioned. It’s simply not the same cocktail without it. The oils from the peel add a lot more flavor and aroma than you may think. It’s meant to help balance out the cocktail and add flavor. The true old fashioned cocktail is not sweet, it also shouldn’t have more than an orange peel in it (no pulp). I’d compare it most to sweeter, chilled whiskey with citrusy, orange characteristics.
Okay, now I gotta go make me one of these because it’s 5 o’clock RIGHT HERE and I can’t take it anymore.
- 2 ounces Laird's Applejack brandy
- ¼ ounce maple syrup
- 3-4 dashes Angostura bitters
- 1 orange peel
- 1 Cinnamon stick
- In a pint glass, combine maple syrup, bitters, and brandy. Fill glass halfway with ice, then stir vigorously about a dozen times.
- Strain into an old-fashioned glass over a giant ice cube.
- Squeeze/twist orange peel over the drink to extract oils, rub peel around the rim of the glass, and add to the cocktail.
- Garnish with cinnamon stick.