I tapped my Urban Buck of a brother to come up with an original cocktail recipe ideal for entertaining outdoors this season. Check out his tasty take on the classic sidecar cocktail complete with a homemade apple cordial:
Late Summer Apple Sidecar
After the numbing drudgery of a too-long summer, that first cool, reinvigorating weekend comes in late September or early October, a reminder that the world has its seasons (at least in most places other than San Francisco), and you are still human enough to appreciate them. It’ll undoubtedly be hot again for a little while longer, but these few, short, milder days bring respite and promise. The late summer markets are still a bounty, but are more recently overstocked with fresh-picked apples, crisp and sweet and perfect. Typically a culinary emblem of fall--but after months of cold storage--the apple is best now. Grab a few to take home and make apple cordial. Chill the cordial to freezing and pack it with you on your next adventure to make a fitting salute to the between-seasons: a Late Summer Apple Sidecar.
The sidecar is a classic Prohibition-era cocktail, usually made with cognac, Cointreau, lemon, and simple syrup. Here, we take those bright summer flavors and shift them forward a month or two, taking some of the lemon’s bite away, but furthering the cognac’s buttery richness by switching to calvados, a French apple brandy.
- 1 apple
- ¾ cup sugar
- 2 tsp citric acid (you can often find this in the nutritional supplements section)
- 1 cup apple juice (if you can find it, choose a single-variety juice, like Gala or Honeycrisp to match your apple)
Grate or finely dice the apple, leaving the skin on. In a small saucepan, bring the apple juice, sugar and citric acid to a boil. Once the sugar is completely dissolved, remove from heat and add the apple. Cover and let steep off the heat until cool. Decant to a seal-able container and let stand in the fridge overnight. Strain the cordial to a portable container and refrigerate or freeze, discarding the apple.
Late Summer Apple Sidecar:
- 2 oz calvados
- ½ oz Cointreau
- 1 oz apple cordial
Pour ingredients into shaker over ice. Shake vigorously and then strain into a glass.
If you’ll be traveling light and won’t have ready access to fresh ice, pre-batch the ingredients in the same proportions, adding 1/2oz of water per drink (to substitute for the missing ice’s dilution) and put in the freezer. The liquid won’t freeze, but will become very viscous. Pour into an insulated thermos right before leaving. If you have reusable ice cubes (plastic spheres containing water that can be frozen), throw them into the thermos for additional cooling power.