Booze Review

Cocktail Review – The Apple Claus


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Beautiful Boozeography courtesy of Sarah Baumberger Photography. Click the pic to see more of her work.

We recently received an email from The Baddish Group regarding a holiday friendly cocktail called The Apple Claus. This recipe which features Four Roses Small Batch Bourbon as the main ingredient was created by bartender Laura Moore of EDGE Social Drinkery in Tampa, Florida’s The Epicurean Hotel. The Baddish Group asked if we’d like to give the recipe a try and share it with you, our loyal readers. Since we’re big fans of Four Roses Bourbon, we happily agreed to recreate this cocktail at The Barthenon and run it through our rigorous review process (i.e. we made it, drank it, and then scribbled a few notes down about it). Before we get to our review, here’s the recipe:

The Apple Claus

  • 1.5 oz Four Roses Bourbon Small Batch
  • .75 oz Apple Cinnamon Tea Syrup
    • Apple Cinnamon Tea Syrup Recipe: 8 oz sugar, 8 oz water, and 3 tea bags of Celestial Seasonings Apple Cinnamon Tea. Steep tea until fragrant. Add sugar until dissolved. Turn off heat and let it cool with tea still intact. Strain and store in refrigerator.
  • .5 oz Lemon Juice
  • Dash of Angostura Bitters

Method: Shake and strain into a chilled coupe and top with sparkling wine (Prosecco, Champagne or Apple Cider.) Garnish with an orange twist or apple slice.

And here’s what we thought of The Apple Claus…the-apple-clause-cocktail

  • Appearance: Limpd thought it looked like pink grapefruit juice while I thought that it looked more like blood orange juice.
  • Aroma
    • Limpd: It smells like Christmas with apples, cinnamon, and hints of citrus hitting you all at once. I really want to like this drink because it’s just so pretty.
    • G-LO: Cinnamon apple dominates the nose with maybe just a hint of lemon coming through.
  • Taste
    • Limp: It’s no Jack Rose, but it’s still awfully good. While I’m not a big fan of cinnamon, this has just enough bite to be interesting without being overpowering.
    • G-LO: Three words: Christmas Whisky Sour! It’s tart, lightly spiced, and kinda dry all at the same time. The Bourbon really takes a backseat to the other flavors. Pleasant cinnamon and lemon aftertaste, but it lingers a bit too long.

The Verdict

  • Limpd: Really nice blend of sweet and tart with a healthy Four Roses Bourbon backbone. It was cold, crisp, and refreshing. Overall, a great seasonal twist on a Whisky Sour.
  • G-LO: The first sip was a little cloying, but once I took in all the flavors, I grew to like this drink. While it was quite good served up, I think it would be even better on the rocks. A little dilution would help to cut down on the cinnamony tartness of this drink which makes me think of a Lemonhead / Red Hot candy hybrid.

Wait! Don’t go just yet. There’s more…

While I definitely liked The Apple Claus, I didn’t love it. The dominant flavors of apple, cinnamon, and lemon were quite pleasant at first, but by the time I got to the end of my drink, the Lemonhead / Red Hot candy flavors lingered for just a little too long, so the day after my research session at The Barthenon, I decided to do a bit of cocktail tinkering at The Murder Table (Limpd’s nickname for the massive island in the middle of my kitchen). My goal was to smooth out the flavors and make this drink much more session worthy. Here’s what I came up with…

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Santa’s Frothy Apple Whisky Sour

  • 1.5 oz Four Roses Small Batch Bourbon
  • .75 oz Apple Cinnamon Tea Syrup
    • Apple Cinnamon Tea Syrup Recipe: 8 oz sugar, 8 oz water, and 3 tea bags of Celestial Seasonings Apple Cinnamon Tea. Steep tea until fragrant. Add sugar until dissolved. Turn off heat and let it cool with tea still intact. Strain and store in refrigerator.
  • .5 oz Lemon Juice
  • .33 oz of Egg White
  • Dash of Angostura Bitters

Method: Dry shake the first four ingredients until the egg whites get good and frothy, then add ice and shake gently to chill the drink. Strain and pour into an ice filled Old Fashioned glass. Garnish with an orange twist and a dash of Angostura Bitters on top.

The Verdict

This was a definite improvement over the original recipe thanks to its having less lemony bite and less cinnamony sting. Santa’s Frothy Apple Whisky Sour was a much more cohesive drink from a flavor perspective (everything came together beautifully!) and the mouthfeel was silky smooth. It’s a definite winner! Mr. and Mrs. Limpd concurred.

_____________________________________________

Many thanks to Gabby Hamilton of The Baddish Group for sending the Four Roses Small Batch Bourbon and for sharing this recipe with us!

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