Ethan Allen

2 oz rye or bourbon
3/4 oz apple cider gastrique
1 tablespoon smoked apple puree*
1 dash Angostura bitters

Shake all ingredients with ice and fine-strain into an ice-filled rocks glass. Optionally garnish with a slice of pickled crab apple.

This contemporary take on the Stone Fence is a cocktail I came up with for the 2009 Great American Distillers Festival cocktail competition.

*To make the smoked apple puree, peel a few apples (I use Jonagolds) and slice into wedges. Smoke at a low temperature for several hours until they have absorbed smoke flavor. Puree in a blender, using fresh, unfiltered apple cider to add liquid as necessary. You’ll end up with what’s essentially very aromatic, smoky apple sauce.

[Photo by Paul Willenberg.]

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Apple Cider Gastrique

1 cup sugar
water
2/3 cup apple cider vinegar
1 cup apple cider
cinnamon stick (optional)
star anise (optional)

Melt the sugar with a little bit of water in a saucepan over low heat. Simmer until lightly caramelized. Gradually add the vinegar (which will spatter furiously) and stir. Combine with apple cider and spices and bring to a simmer. Remove from heat, cool, strain, and bottle.

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