Hello again one and all. In keeping on the autumnal seasonal trend I started last week, I went looking for cocktails that made use of one specific ingredient: apple brandy. I feel like it is a spirit I always seem to have but tend to underutilize. Plus, with warm fall days slowly becoming outliers, I wanted to start amassing a number of go to seasonal recipes that I can easily mix if I want some variety in my cocktailing. I found a few promising recipes in my library of cocktail books, however for each recipe I found, it turns out I was an ingredient or two short. Wanting to use what I have on hand, I went googling and came across an interesting concoction called The Woodsman. What made this one stand out to me was the inclusion of the ginger liqueur. I didn’t expect to find a fall appropriate drink with ginger liqueur, but here we are. Let’s mix and see how it goes!
2 oz. Applejack or apple brandy
4 dashes Angostura bitters
.75 oz. Maple syrup
.50 oz . Ginger liqueur
Orange twist for garnish
Add all liquids into a mixing glass. Add ice and stir to chill. Strain into a coupe. Garnish with orange twist.
The nose has a slight apple note, mixed with a hint of ginger and orange. Overall, it really is fairly neutral. Neither aroma really steps on the other and they play well together. The lack of any sort of strong spirit contributes to the pleasant fragrance the cocktail has.
Upon sipping, the apple brandy flavor comes at you from the start, but its quickly overrun by a mellowed (but still sweet) maple syrup flavor. About halfway through the brandy starts to come through again, this time with a more sour apple profile, I imagine helped out by the addition of the 4 dashes of bitters. The ginger liqueur is almost unnoticeable unfortunately. I imagine it adds some depth, and plays into the slight sour taste coming in at the end, but I had a hard time finding the flavor. The mid sip sour notes carry you all the way to the end. The maple flavor from the syrup is mostly lost like the ginger liqueur, but just enough makes it way though so you are able to tell its syrup as a sweetener, and not just simple syrup doing the yeoman’s work there.
I’ve mentioned many, many times before I prefer drinks on the dryer/stronger side, but I don’t hate this. It is sweeter than I tend to like things, but even with the .75oz of syrup in there, I don’t feel like I need to shave my teeth afterwards. Though I wouldn’t order (or make) another immediately. It’s a solid, one-off after dinner drink. Perhaps it can be part of a dessert course, paired with a small amount of vanilla ice cream. That sounds good doesn’t it?
(Banner image found here)