Thursday, September 30, 2010

naked apple

1 1/2 oz High West Silver Western Oat Whiskey
1 oz Apple Cider, reduced and clarified (*)
1 dash Bitter Truth Lemon Bitters

Shake (or stir?) with ice and strain into a rocks glass filled with fresh ice. Garnish with a baked disk of cider and caramel; serve with a straw.
(*) Reduce two-fold with heat. Add gelatin and freeze-thaw through cheesecloth as described in the Cooking Issues link below.
Last week, I stopped in at Clio to visit bartender Todd Maul. Todd asked if I was looking to try something new that would be on the menu the following week; without any further information, his enthusiasm was surely contagious and I gave the go ahead. The drink he prepared for me was in theory a riff on a Manhattan that used a lightly oaked whiskey made from 85% oat and 15% barley. The "in theory" part was that he did not use a vermouth, port, or even an amaro to balance the spirit; instead, he used a modified apple cider that acted like a vermouth. Todd had concentrated the cider and stripped it of its color so that it was like "apple juice on steroids." I had just read in the last round of Mixology Mondays about Jacob Grier's experiments to do similar clarifications of lime juice; furthermore, Jacob referenced a more comprehensive article in the Cooking Issues blog where this technique and others were explained in great detail. Instead of Angostura Bitters in this Manhattan facsimile, Todd chose lemon bitters for he found that it accentuated the apple notes in the drink. Overall, the drink was clean and rich tasting with the essence of a Stone Fence with the barrel aging notes of the whiskey and thick fruity flavors of the cider stripped away.

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