Applejack Rabbit

ImbibeWhat with all the not-posting I’ve been doing lately, I’ve let the first few weeks of September pass without mentioning that the latest issue of Imbibe is out. The September/October issue was a two-fer for me, with somewhat related articles on applejack and eau de vie.

I’ll get to an eau de vie post soon, but I wanted to mention that I had a lot of fun working on “Golden Delicious,” the applejack article in the Elements department. Not only did I get to pull out my trusty bottle of Laird’s and walk through a few old cocktail manuals in search of applejack drinks I hadn’t tried, but I had the good fortune to interview Misty Kalkofen, who tends bar at Green Street in Cambridge, Mass., and is a big fan of the spirit (Misty is also active over at LUPEC Boston). Misty suggested a lot of different applejack cocktails that she’s been mixing — one of her originals, the Fort Washington Flip, ran in the magazine — but there were many more great drinks I just couldn’t cram into the available space.

Here’s one I especially liked. The recipe is from David Embury’s The Fine Art of Mixing Drinks, and this drink is somewhat unusual in that it calls for maple syrup as a sweetener. I know some people may write the drink off for that reason alone, but as Embury notes, “Don’t shy away from it. It’s not half bad.”

Applejack Rabbit

  • 1 1/2 ounces applejack
  • 1/4 ounce fresh orange juice
  • 1/4 ounce fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 ounce maple syrup (the real stuff — don’t put that Log Cabin crap in your drink)

Shake with cracked ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

The man knows his drinks — not half bad, indeed.

10 Responses to Applejack Rabbit

  1. Embury certainly was a revisionist! To the best of my knowledge the original Apple Jack Rabbit recipe is the truly disgusting sounding:

    Apple Jack Rabbit Cocktail

    1 Hooker of Applejack (1 1/2 oz)
    The Juice of 1 Lemon
    The Juice of 1 Orange
    1 Hooker of Maple Syrup (1 1/2 oz)

    Shake well and strain into a cocktail glass.

    Not sure where the recipe came from. The use of the term “hooker” made me think Judge Jr.; but, that doesn’t appear to be the case. Certainly reads like a prohibition era recipe, though!

  2. The pleasure was all mine Paul! With fall rolling around I can’t seem to put the Applejack down. I’ve been making a ton of Applejack Old Fashioneds using maple syrup and Fee Brothers Whiskey-Barrel Aged Bitters (eschewing the fruit, of course). I’m also working on a little number for an event next week using Applejack, Punt e Mes and a spiced simple syrup. When I get the recipe nailed down I’ll report back!

  3. Hey Paul,
    You’re not the only one who’s dropped off the radar lately… I haven’t come to see your site in weeks, and was delighted to find this recipe posted here today. I’m not going to say, “Fall really is my favorite time of year…” as if it were novel, so I’ll just say that I like apple and stone fruit season in the Northwest. Here’s a good recipe along those lines with two of my favorite spirits:

    Sour Apricot

    1 oz. Laird’s Applejack
    1 oz. Marie Brizzard Apry
    3/4 oz. Fresh Lime
    1 egg white

    Shake and serve up. Dash Peychaud’s on top as aromatic garnish… Sip with eyes closed.

    Thanks for posting, Paul.

  4. Oh, man! this is what I get for falling behind in my blog reading. This -was- going to be my next Drink of the Week.

    Oh, well. Back to the drawing board…

  5. I followed the recipe posted here, but using fresh squeezed blood orange juice and lime juice. It is great and quite a success at my last dinner party. I usually serve up one cocktail to all arriving guests.

  6. […] The Applejack Rabbit  is today’s cocktail.  Did you think that maple syrup is some new trendy ingredient? No, detail obsessed David Embury beat everyone to it like 50 years ago.  Bourbon is fine and dandy but  whiskey was born in Ireland, rum is from the America’s but less from America but applejack is the real deal american mongrel spirit.  Applejack is America’s bastard brandy.  Read more on it here.  But please understand we’ll be using a beautiful bottle of bonded applejack, not the colonial swill.  The Applejack Rabbit is only as good as you want to make it, use good applejack and use real maple syrup (which costs much more than actual alcohol). […]

  7. We are loving the Laird’s Bonded and this is a very good cocktail. I want to make it our cocktail of the week but the Rabbit seems a better fit for Fall. We will be drinking it all year anyway.

    Thanks for all the Applejack cocktails…

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