I love apple season.
I love walking through the rows of apple trees, seeing so many varieties and shapes and sizes.
I love the late summer apples, like Lobos and Paulareds, a bit more delicate than their autumn cousins like McIntosh and Empires.
I love the colour of the trees, the crisp air, but most of all –
I love apple products: apple sauce, apple pies, apple cider, and apple doughnuts fresh from the fryer.
In Québec, going apple picking is almost a seasonal rite of passage, celebrating the end of summer and the beginning of new things. So when it was the birthday of a good friend of mine’s the other week, I immediately thought of apples. A few ladies were coming over for cocktails afterwards and I knew we needed something warm, a little complex, and comforting to take off the autumn chill. I wrote this recipe up for the wonderful ladies in my life and everything else there is to celebrate this time of year.
P.S. This recipe requires a cocktail shaker. You could get a fancy shaker or simply use a stainless steel container like this one, invert a glass on top to create a lid, and shake it with all your ingredients. Impressive for guests but super simple to do.
Cider bourbon cocktail with rosemary simple syrup
Makes enough simple syrup for at least 10 cocktails
ROSEMARY SIMPLE SYRUP
- 2-3 sprigs rosemary
- 1 c. sugar
- fresh apple cider
- lemon juice
- soda water
- apple, sliced paper thin
- more sprigs of rosemary
ROSEMARY SIMPLE SYRUP
In a small pot, bring 1 c. water to boil. When it is bubbling, add in 1 c. sugar and reduce to medium. Add the sprigs of rosemary (if you are not sure how strong you like the rosemary flavour, add 2 to begin with). Let it simmer and thicken, between 5-10 minutes. Remove from heat and taste if the rosemary flavour is strong enough, keeping in mind that it will get slightly deeper over time. If not, add the last sprig of rosemary. Let stand with sprigs in the pot for 30 minutes. Remove sprigs and store in an airtight jar.
COCKTAIL – makes enough for 1
In a cocktail shaker, add 0.75 oz. rosemary simple syrup, 0.25 oz. lemon juice, 1.25 oz. bourbon, 3 oz. cider and ice. Shake until frothy, about 10 seconds. Pour into a highball glass (or heck, whatever glass you fancy) and top with soda water. Taste and add more of the syrup, cider, or booze as you desire. Garnish with a few slices of apple and a sprig of rosemary.