Tuesday, March 1

Apple Pie Cocktail

Apple Pie Cocktail:
  • 3/4 oz. rum (Bacardi Gold)
  • 3/4 oz. Italian (sweet) Vermouth
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. Apricot brandy
  • 1/2 tsp. grenadine
Shake and strain into 3 oz. Cocktail glass.

This cocktail is a mystery. It immediately follows the "applejack" cocktails so I 100% expected some applejack, particularly because of the fact that it's supposed to taste, well, somewhat like apples. Instead, we get a rum and vermouth concoction with Apricot brandy and grenadine for flavoring and just a hint of lemon juice for tartness, and it comes out tasting, well, somewhat like an apple pie. Maybe it's the spices in the vermouth, the fruitiness of the grenadine and apricots, and the tartness of the lemon, all coming together to trick my taste-buds into "apple pie" mode. (Which is, by the way, different from "apple pie a la mode". Yeah, sorry about that joke.) But it's incredible. Not a hint of apple-ness anywhere.

This does explore some really interesting psychological space that I'm sure I learned sometime about taste being a super imprecise sense. Something about how tastes are made up of things like bitterness or sweetness, but there's not an "apple" neuron that lights up when we taste apple. Wait, not imprecise. Actually super precise and completely adaptable. Somehow the mix of these ingredients is perfect, and whomever invented this drink was a master. This one will definitely get repeated, if only for the really cool psychological lesson that it taught me.

Also, a quick note to make this and many other drinks much easier to make: the standard barspoon is about 1/2 of a teaspoon. It's rare that you get ingredients in less than 1/2 of a teaspoon's measurement, so when you're looking for the precision required from this recipe, it's pretty easy to do. And in a lot of cocktails, the "flavoring" ingredients are often in scant measurements. I still haven't figured out a good, repeatable "dash" for ingredients not in bottles with a tiny opening (like bitters) though...

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