Apple Julep Redux

Last week, in a fit of oppositional defiance against the Mint Julep, I introduced you to the Apple Julep. I should first explain that my opposition to the mint julep was based only upon the over-abundance of coverage of the drink in advance of the Kentucky Derby. I’m a huge fan of the cocktail myself, and highly encourage you to give it a try. Have a look at Lush Life’s coverage of this classic with Dale DeGroff, and perhaps we’ll cover the drink ourselves during non-derby season (again, just to be defiant).

CalvadosIn any case, after posting about our alternative, one of our friends via Twitter – Pia Mara Finkel (whom you can and should follow at @piamara) – suggested a possible alteration. Her suggestion was to try the cocktail with Calvados – a French apple brandy – as opposed to the Applejack we used. This was, of course, a wonderful suggestion.

The history of Calvados is rich indeed. We won’t bore you with the details here, but you can read more on Wikipedia, or in the book Calvados: The World’s Premier Apple Brandy by Henrik Mattsson.

What is important is that Applejack, which we used in our first recipe, is a blended spirit composed of 35% apple brandy and 65% neutral spirits, whereas Calvados is a straight apple brandy (not blended with any other spirits). As a result, the Calvados provides a much stronger apple taste (which is very nice!), but as Pia Mara predicted, a little extra sweetener (in the form of maple syrup) was required (at least for our taste). We upped the original recipe from 1 bar spoon of maple syrup to 2.

In the end, we’re still fans of the Applejack version for sure, but this variation is definitely one to keep in your arsenal. Many thanks again to @piamara for the terrific idea!


Tags: apple brandy, applejack, calvados, julep

Leave a Reply