Apple Pie

This is another personal creation of mine and my fiancé’s.

Now that we’re getting into the colder seasons, the flavours of apple and cinnamon are everywhere – and I love it! I will tell anyone that listens that Autumn and Winter are easily my favourite seasons of the year – it’s the time that the heating starts going on, candles are being lit and jumpers are coming out of storage. Halloween is nearly here and Christmas (more importantly, the Christmas holidays and the Christmas FOOD) are just around the corner. What’s not to love? I’ll take all of that over being too warm and sticky in Summer every day of the week.

Last night, my fiancé and I spent a couple of hours trying to create the perfect Apple Pie cocktail to end October with a bang. I’ll admit that the original version of this drink was made during a time when a LOT of my cocktails had either cream or whipped cream (or both) in them, but i’m going to go out on a limb and say that it fits with the theme of this drink. The original was good, a solid 3 out of 5, but didn’t quite deliver the feeling of an Apple Pie. Naturally, it was essential that we fixed this. What followed was a very fun and bizarrely academic experience – we made 3 rounds of drinks, 1 designed and made by both of us for each round, and then listed the pro’s and cons, tastes and aromas, and ranked how well each one fit the brief.

After every round we adapted the recipe depending on our personal tastes until we found one that we declared the Perfect Apple Pie cocktail. I swear, there were some modules in University that I didn’t work as hard in. So sit back and enjoy the fruits (hey-oh) of our labour, and if you’re not too interested in the journey, feel free to skip down to The Final Recipe to try it for yourself! If you really want to get into it, try making each drink as you go along and see if you agree with our decisions.

Our journey to the perfect Winter cocktail.

To start we made both the original Apple Pie cocktail and an Apple Martini, thinking that the latter would give us some inspiration for how to really get that apple flavour across.

ROUND 1: Apple Pie

2 ounces vodka, 4 ounces apple juice, whipped cream, cinnamon.

Shake the vodka, apple juice and some cinnamon together and strain into a chilled short glass. Top with the whipped cream and some extra cinnamon.

ROUND 1: Apple Martini

1 ½ ounce vodka, ½ apple schnapps, 1 ounce apple juice, ¼ ounce lemon juice.

The Apple Martini was tart and definitely tasted more of fresh apples as it had a light, fruity crispness, but it doesn’t really make you think of a sticky apple pie. Interestingly the Apple Pie 1.0 didn’t really sell itself either as it somehow lacked an apple flavour despite have 4 ounces of apple juice. I also used far too much cinnamon, but I love cinnamon so didn’t really mind. Nevertheless, both were ranked a 3/5 and we moved onto round 2.

The Apple Pie 1.o                           Apple Martini


ROUND 2: Apple Pie 1a

1 ounce vodka, ½ ounce apple schnapps, ½ ounce amaretto, 1 ounce apple juice, ¼ ounce double cream.

Shake all of the ingredients together and strain into a chilled martini glass.

ROUND 2: Apple Pie 1b

1 ounce apple schnapps, 1 ounce vanilla vodka, ½ ounce amaretto, 2 ounce apple juice.

Shake all of the ingredients together and strain into a chilled short glass.

We had the same idea that some amaretto would give the drink a frangipane taste which, when combined with the apple, we thought would really sell the concept of an apple pie. Unfortunately, amaretto as an ingredient really overpowers everything else. Don’t get me wrong, both of these were delicious; 1b in particular was kind of crazy to drink as it was incredibly creamy in flavour without cream having ever touched the drink. The vanilla vodka really played tricks on your mind which was fun and quite memorable, and I have no doubt it’s something that will be used in future drinks. Still, we were lacking in a true Apple Pie cocktail. Back to the drawing board.


ROUND 3: Apple Pie 2a

1 ounce white rum, ½ ounce apple schnapps, 1½ ounce apple juice, cinnamon.

Shake all of the liquid ingredients together and strain into a chilled martini glass, then top with a light dusting of cinnamon.

ROUND 3: Apple Pie 2b

1 ounce spiced rum, 1 ounce apple schnapps, ½ elderflower syrup, 2 ounce apple juice, ¼ ounce double cream.

Shake all of the ingredients together and strain into a chilled martini glass.

We were convinced that we needed a new alcoholic base for the drink, vodka just wasn’t cutting the mustard any more. Again we had a similar idea that rum could be the way forward; my fiancé chose white rum as he thought it might be more creamy in flavour whilst I thought that spiced rum might give the cinnamon flavour without the actual need for cinnamon in the drink. 2a had good apple flavours and a great aroma, but the cinnamon was overpowering and we found that it settled at the bottom of the glass in a, frankly, unsightly mess. So unless you were going to chug the drink like no tomorrow, it just wasn’t practical. Then, we tried 2b and, hoo boy, this was it. The real Apple Pie cocktail. Only a couple of minor adjustments needed to be made; we reduced the elderflower syrup to ¼ ounce, and added a dash of lemon juice at the end. I was absolutely correct that spiced rum was the way forward, even though i’ll admit that whilst making the drink I had some reservations as the smell and taste of spiced rum can be very overpowering.We were amazed at how subtle the flavouring of the drink actually was – apple, spicing, creaminess, it had the lot and it worked harmoniously. To quote Ocean’s 13, it plays.

5/5

 


The (Final) Recipe:

♦  1 ounce spiced rum

♦  1 ounce apple schnapps

♦  ¼ ounce elderflower syrup

♦  2 ounces apple juice

♦  ¼ ounce double cream

Lemon juice

Cinnamon

Only a ¼ ounce of cream in each drink, I know right?! I’ve personally not come across a recipe that uses less than ½ ounce of cream, but this drink would definitely fool you into thinking there’s more.

Shake all the ingredients together and strain into a chilled martini glass. Add a dash of lemon juice to the drink and enjoy.

Thoughts, feedback or have your own recipe? Let us know here!