Now that we are officially into fall cocktails, it’s time to enjoy apples. But not apples as in the kind you eat. Instead, we are going in the direction of Calvados, the wonderful apple brandy produced in Normandy, France. With complex notes of apples and oak, it’s great for sipping neat or mixed with other spirits, as you’ll see in this rye calvados cocktail.
My original idea for this drink was to pair rye whiskey with cognac and Meletti. But, when I went to make it, I grabbed my bottle of calvados instead of the cognac. I thought the apple notes in the calvados would bring a nice fall touch to this digestif. Meletti, if you’re unfamiliar with it, is an amaro. Produced in Italy, it is a blend of herbs and spices with chocolate notes. I love sipping on it neat after dinner. I also love that it’s not too expensive. If you don’t have a bottle yet, I highly suggest getting one. Or two. Or three.
- 1 ounce rye
- 1 ounce Calvados (apple brandy)
- ½ ounce Meletti
- 8 drops cacao tincture**
- Orange peel garnish
- Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass and fill with ice.
- Stir and strain into a rocks glass with one big cube.
- Twist an orange peel over the drink, rub around the rim and drop in the glass before enjoying.
- **To make the cacao tincture:
- Combine 1 ounce raw cacao nibs and 3 ounces neutral grain spirit in a small mason jar. Let sit for a few days, giving it a little shake each day. After the second day, start tasting it. Once it has the cacao flavor you want, strain and store in a small bottle with a dropper.
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