With November’s lighter style of drinks, the Shim, under our belts, it’s time to keep on drinking through the Holiday season. Perhaps you will keep it lighter like last month or old and stiff like the days of yore; no need to drink benevolently here, but feel free to drink with malus. Perhaps introducing our host for MxMo this month, well me — Frederic of the CocktailVirgin blog, might make this idea better understood.
This month’s theme slated for December 15th is one that will get you looking at all things orchardy for the theme is “Apples.” Please read Frederic’s full announcement post, but here is a brief description:
Apples have been an American booze staple with Johnny Appleseed as its symbolic hero. John Chapman became that legend by planting apple tree nurseries across the northern Appalachia and the Midwest. He did not choose grafting techniques to reproduce sweet edible ones, but bred them to make sour apples perfect for cider and applejack. Michael Pollan in The Botany of Desire proclaimed, “Really, what Johnny Appleseed was doing and the reason he was welcome in every cabin in Ohio and Indiana was he was bringing the gift of alcohol to the frontier. He was our American Dionysus.” Apple products began to enter into the mixed drink literature in the 19th century with the Stone Fence appearing in Jerry Thomas’ Bartender Guide and got quite refined by the end of the century such as the Widow’s Kiss in George Kappeler’s Modern American Drinks. Indeed, apples have found their way into modern cocktails via Calvados, applejack, sparkling and still cider, apple butter, and muddled apple.
While there are plenty of classic and new recipes that use applejack, Calvados, and cider, consider great complementary pairings like apple products with Scotch, agave, Benedictine, and Yellow Chartreuse. Could you substitute champagne for sparkling cider, Calvados for Cognac, Laird’s Bonded for whiskey? Sure, feel free to make a riff on a classic as well. With all those options and more, there is something for everyone to join in on the fun. Briefly, here’s how to participate:
- Find or concoct a recipe that features apple as one of the star ingredients whether it be fresh, cooked, fermented, infused, or distilled, and then post the recipe, including a photo and your remarks, on your blog, tumblr, or website. If you lack one of those, feel free to post on eGullet’s Spirits and Cocktails forum.
- Include in your post the MxMo logo (whether the classic or any of the three apple ones provided here) and a link back to both the Mixology Monday and Cocktail Virgin sites. And once the round-up is posted, a link to that summary post would be appreciated.
- Submit a link one of three ways by midnight on December 15th — leave a comment on the announcement post, tweet Frederic at @cocktailvirgin, or send an email to yarm(at)verizon(dot)net.
That gives us two weeks to start making apple butter or scouring the shelves for artisinal applejack producers or anything in between! Light a candle for John Chapman, get out the paring knives and mixing vessels, and start tinkering! Or search the century and a half plus of apple-laden cocktail recipes available to mixologists. Oh so many ways to go about this! I am definitely curious to see what refreshing libations you and your curiosity can come up with…