Apple Crisp


Apple brandy and bourbon are two of my most used spirits, so when I ran across the Apple Crisp cocktail, which also incorporated cardamom, one of my favorite spices, I knew it would be a favorite of mine immediately.


1 ounce Laird's bonded apple brandy

1/2 ounce cardamom infused bourbon (see below for how to make this)

3/4 ounce lemon juice

3/4 ounce runny honey (I substituted 1/2 ounce of Morris Kitchen's spiced apple syrup)

Soda water

Add apple brandy, bourbon, lemon juice, and runny honey to a shaker with ice.  Shake well.  Strain into a highball over ice.  Top off with soda.

Cardamom is a fantastic spice with which to work.  The flavor works well in both sweet and savory applications.  To infuse bourbon with cardamom, take 1 cup of bourbon and add to it 1/4 cup of green cardamom lightly crushed with a mortar and pestle or with a wooden spoon.  The light crushing of the cardamom will expose the bourbon to the cardamom seeds, which contain all the flavor.  Let this mixture steep for 1.5 hours (any more and the cardamom will be overpowering).  Strain the mixture well and store.  You will end up with roughly a cup of infused bourbon.

One quick note on the sweetener used here.  Honey is fantastic in cocktails.  However, like agave syrup, it is extremely thick, which makes it difficult to work with.  Not only will it not fully empty from the jigger but it may not evenly mix when you shake the drink.  An easy fix is to create "runny honey" which is honey mixed 1:1 with warm water.  By diluting down the honey you end up making it easier to pour and mix.  Create runny honey as needed.  Honey does not spoil because of the lack of water content.  So once you introduce water to it, it will spoil after some time.  I actually opted not to use runny honey here because I had a bottle of Morris Kitchen's Apple Cider Syrup, which is essentially cane syrup with reduced apple cider.  It worked really well in this cocktail but I reduced the amount to 1/2 ounce because it is sweeter than runny honey.

(adapted from the Union Square Cafe)