Although you can find apple flavored liqueur in places outside of the U.S. of A, e.g. Calvados is French, applejack is from the United States. You ever heard of Jersey Lightning? Neither had I until I looked into applejack's background and found that it is from the same state that brought us musical legends such as Frank Sinatra, Bruce Springsteen, and Jon Bon Jovi. (Some of you are probably foaming at the mouth because I included those three artists in the same sentence). Although applejack was popular in Colonial days, it isn’t very popular now. That being said, it isn’t too hard to find, especially if you are willing to pray to Saint Google.
Many thanks to Black Dirt Distillery and Jillian Vose at Death & Co. for creating this cocktail. I discovered it at the Tales Of The Cocktail conference.
1.5 ounces Black Dirt Applejack (or whichever applejack you prefer)
.5 ounces Cointreau
.5 ounces simple syrup
Juice from 1/4 lemon
1 dash Angostura bitters
Combine in shaker with ice, shake like you’re trying to get the best apples out of the tree (or dancing to any of the classic tunes from Sinatra, Springsteen, or Bon Jovi) , then strain into chilled cocktail glass.
This cocktail is essentially a Sidecar (click here for the original recipe) that switches applejack for brandy. The original recipe calls for cane sugar syrup instead of what I call super simple syrup (click here). Call me lazy or accuse me of having an unsophisticated palate, but I doubt there is a tremendous difference regardless of whether you use cane syrup or some other version of simple syrup. Similarly, while I recognize that the applejack you use may have a significant impact on the cocktail, I took the easy way and used the applejack in my liquor cabinet (Laird’s). And you know what? It makes a fine and dangerously delectable cocktail.