Apple Pie Martinis
I thought that it would be fun to start off this week by telling you a bit about what we did on the weekend! Whee! Aren’t you excited? You can hardly WAIT?! I know, I know. So we ran some errands, enjoyed the company of a couple friends, ate a lot of food including a phenomenal cheese course, and drank Apple Pie Martinis. Lots of Apple Pie Martinis. I won’t tell you how many because my mother reads this blog and will think she reared a troubled daughter with devastating alcohol dependency issues that are rapidly ruining her health and future potential (HI MOM!!!!).
So, here’s the thing. You know how everybody has their culinary Achilles heel? That one thing which you simply CANNOT make well (or possibly at all) regardless of how hard you try, how much unsolicited and questionable expert advice you receive, and how many different methods you use to skin that particular cat? Oh, by the way, if ‘skinning cats’ is your Achilles heel, I would prefer not to hear about it….in fact, now I’m thinking about it and I’m getting upset. JEEZ LOUISE. Sick bastards and their cat skinning. Alright, let me shake that one off and try to be more pleasant – which is a stretch, I know.
Astra Libris was talking about culinary nemeses a few days ago and I thought that I could pick out my immediate two (chocolate sauce/ganache and omelets) but then I had the sickening realization that there were a lot more than two. Pie crust, for example. I have used easily 15 recipes for pie crust, I try not to touch it with my sweaty little paws, and the butter and water are so ice cold that you could get frostbite just looking at them – but to no avail. I can make superlative and feather light cakes, but pies…stupid pies…. Every pie crust I’ve made has been chewy and dense, fallen apart before it could be rolled, or shrunk to a ridiculously wee size to the point where I’m sure somebody was chanting “Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice” in the background. Sigh. What a hard life I have. It’s alright though, all is not lost when a pie needs to be made (and no, I do NOT use Tenderflake frozen crusts, thank you very much! I do have SOME pride!!) because MIKE just happens to make the lightest, flakiest, tastiest pie crust ever. I knew I kept him around for more than just a piece of tail and the mortgage contributions.
Anyway, I’m starting to Atwood over here, so I’ll get to the point: I make a crappy pie. But I make an awesome cocktail. I’m willing to concede that, and focus on where my true talents lie. So if a cocktail based on pie is what I can bring to your table, please let me do so.
The holidays are sneaking up on us. My fellow Canucks and I just celebrated Thanksgiving, but the Yanks have theirs coming up and then there is the Christmas season. I say, be prepared with plenty of Apple Pie Martinis on hand. After all, what’s screams out ‘fall’ like an apple pie? And what’s more festive than cocktails? Other than a cherub in a bunny suit riding a sleigh drawn by reindeers and giving out candy to children as they eat turkey. I guess that would be more festive, but only JUST a bit. Anyway, pass these around at your next gathering and you will not be disappointed.
The apple liquor will take about two (2) weeks to stew itself into submission, so if you start now it will be ready for the holiday season….but don’t start too soon, or you won’t have any left for the holiday season. It’s gooooood…..
And by the way, if you’re thinking to yourself, “Gee…I have to MAKE the apple liquor? Can’t I just buy it? Oh, sweet cocktail gods, why hast thou forsaken me?!” Things are not as egregious as you think. You put some stuff in a jar, shake it, and leave it for two weeks. Really. Don’t tell me that you can’t do that. Plus, when people ask you what’s in the SIMPLY DELICIOUS cocktail (and okay, just one more, but only if you’re offering…) and you tell them that it’s your homemade apple liquor? You are a liquor bearing rock-star. You are their Mega-Mixologist Extraordinaire.
So go. Make some cidery vodka. Drink pie flavored beverages and be happy. That’s what we here at the Choosy Beggars are all about.
Apple Pie Martinis
- 1.5 oz Apple Cider Liquor *
- .5 oz Phillips Butter Ripple Schnapps **
** If you can’t find Phillips Butter Ripple Schnapps in your liquor store feel free to substitute another delicious butterscotch flavored liquor and change the amount according to taste.
Shake ingredients over ice and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a slice of apple, or as you see fit.
It doesn’t look fancy, but this is elegance, decadence and delight in a glass.
I think I might be getting a bit turned on, that’s one hot cocktail. Look at it, being all coy…
Apple Cider Liquor
- 5 Macintosh apples *
- 60 oz vodka
- 1 cup white sugar
- 6 cinnamon sticks
- 21 cloves
Other equipment: 3 extra large Mason jars.
* I’m not fussy, any large juicy apple with a lot of appley flavor will work. Honey Crisp would be delightful!
Start by chopping up the apples. There is no need to core the apples unless you really feel the yen, because any seeds or odd little bits will be strained out at the end. So, in the interest of feeling wickedly and deliberately lazy (like a complete slattern, I’m still in my pajamas as I type this), I say leave them in…just this once…it feels rather liberating, I must say.
Divide the apples evenly among the three large Mason jars.
Pour some sugar on them…ooh, in the name of love. Pour some sugar on them, c’mon fire me up. What, WHAT?! Alright, fine, less Def Leppard and more specifics. That would be 1/3 cup of refined sugar per jar.
Snuggle 2 cinnamon sticks into each jar, and flirtatiously drop 7 whole cloves into each as well. Why 7 cloves? Why not?! I was feeling the ‘lucky number 7’ vibe, but if your lucky number is 6, or 8, or anything close than I’m sure it will be fine. If your lucky number is 64, you’ll have cloven hooves by the time you’re done. We don’t want that. It’s always best to stay on the good side of the Liquor Gods and the Vodka Spirits <- HA!! Holy heck, I crack myself up.
Pour 20 oz (a pint) of vodka into each jar. It should be enough to just cover the apple pieces.
Take the bottle, shake it u-u-up, break the bubbles, break it u-up….
Sorry, I thought I was done with that. I was wrong.
That’s it! These need time to themselves as they come to terms with their new fate. Store them in a cool, dark place for at least two weeks. After every few days (and by ‘few’ realistically, I mean that you should do this every few days but if you pop by once a week – like you know very well that I did – there’s no harm no foul) shake the jars and just let them rest.
Are you like me? I’m ridiculously nosy and I need to know what’s going on at all times, in every situation, and with regular progress reports. If I don’t have a finger in every pie then I sometimes get a bit panicky. Such is the life of the control freak gossip monger. Anyway, I find it very hard NOT to pop them open and investigate what may be brewing inside, but DON’T DO IT. Leave the vodka alone!! What did it ever do to you?! Plus, it’s HAPPY in there with it’s apples and spices. Leave it be. There. That’s better. Good vodka, everything is going to be okay, we’ll see you in a couple of weeks.
After two weeks the jars will contain an incredible caramel hued liquor that is infused with fresh sweet apple and rich dark spice. It’s delightful sipped on its own, which of course we investigated purely for the reason that we wanted to give you a full and unadulterated understanding of what this liquor could and could not do. Yes, we took one for the team here. What it can do: make cocktails, ciders, caramel sauces, and pork tenderloin marinades reach a point of genius that you didn’t think possible. What it cannot do: cure cancer, but we’re working on that.
Empty the contents of the jars through a strainer (I like a mesh sieve lined with coffee filters) into a receptacle large enough to hold 2-3 pints. The apples absorb some of the vodka, but we forgive them because they’ve played their part. Discard the solids as you go.
And there we have it! Apple Cider Liquor. So. Good. We aren’t kidding when we say it tastes just like apple cider…I could drink a warm cup of this and be hammered off my ass happy as a clam.
Sante!! Chin Chin!! Bottoms up!!
Or, as we like to cheer in our household, “WHERE’S MINE?!”