Each season has its flavors, each holiday its traditions and every occasion its cocktail. With cooler weather and shorter days comes a natural return to fortifying spirits and familiar fall ingredients like apples and warming spices.
Fall is generally the season marked by crisp air, leaves turning colors, longer nights and cozy sweaters. And while that may be true for the rest of the country, here in Southern California we rarely reach those chilly temperatures that require the fortification of strong spirits.
Yet, that has never stopped me from embracing seasonal traditions in the face of somewhat unseasonal weather.
With incredible displays of rosy apples dominating the landscape at farmers’ market stalls this time of year, it’s hard to resist their allure.
The Normand Fizz, as I like to call it, has cool weather written all over it, with ingredients like apples, ginger and Calvados (a type of French apple brandy from Normandy). It’s simultaneously cool and warm, sweet and spicy.
This apple cocktail balances tart against sweet, just like peak-of-season apples, and showcases their crisp clean fall flavor. Sweet-tart varieties like Pippins and Pink Ladies are good choices here because their sharpness stands up to the other ingredients.
Full-flavored Calvados create a robust drink that enhances the apple’s aromas and gives an autumnal character to the cocktail.
Muddling sliced tart apples lends a delicate flavor. The drink gets a spicy kick from a ginger infused simple syrup (the same one I used in my ginger lemonade) while the apple offers an understated sweet-tart note that lingers against the heat.
You’ll feel toasty and warm in no time.
RECIPE: The Normand Fizz | Apple Ginger Calvados Cocktail
- 4 thin tart apple slices
- 1 teaspoon maple syrup
- 1 oz/ 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 oz/ 2 tablespoons ginger simple syrup (see associated recipe)
- 2 oz/ 1⁄4 cup good-quality Calvados
- Ice cubes
- Soda water to top up
- Lemon peel for garnish
- In a cocktail shaker, muddle 2 of the apple slices, the maple syrup and lemon juice.
- Add the ginger simple syrup, Calvados and a few ice cubes. Cover, shake and strain into ice filled glasses.
- Top up with soda water and garnish with the remaining apple slices and twists of lemon peel.
Both Calvados is an apple brandy similar to Applejack — Applejack is American and Calvados is French. French Calvados is generally considered superior but they’re close enough so you can substitute one for the other in this recipe if you can’t find Calvados.
Preparation time: 5 minute(s)
Number of servings (yield): 2
Copyright © 2010-2011 gourmande in the kitchen.
What are some of your favorite cool weather cocktails? Feel free to share links to them in the comments section so we can all see.