Monday, January 24, 2011

lux cider

1 1/4 oz Lustau Los Arcos Dry Amontillado Sherry
1/2 oz Hayman's Old Tom Gin
1 oz Charred Apple Cider (see below)
1/2 oz Lemon Juice
1 dash Fee's Old-fashioned Bitters (Fee's Whiskey Barrel)

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. Twist an orange peel over the top.

As I mentioned in the Highland Games post, we recently received the recipes for the twelve finalists for the 2010 Vinos de Jerez Cocktail Competition. Dean Hurst's Lux Cider recipe did attract my attention, but the recipe required a bit of kitchen prep. Since I had all of the ingredients save for the charred apple cider, I decided that the recipe was tempting enough to make the extra effort worthwhile. With help from SideBern's Restaurant in Tampa's chef, Chad Johnson, Dean was able to come up with this delicious flavor combination. I scaled down the chef's recipe for the apple cider from a dozen apples to a single one (I used a Mutsu or Crispin apple), and the effort yielded a tasty caramelized apple syrup that was well worth my time in the kitchen.
The Lux Cider's aroma consisted of the Amontillado sherry combined with orange oil from the twist. On the first taste, I was impressed at how well the sweet apple sip melded with the dry, nutty sherry on the swallow. After the initial mouthful, the lemon crept into the sip and dried things out a bit, and this was followed by cinnamon from the bitters on the swallow. The Old Tom gin provided a boozy backbone to the drink but it was hard to specifically discern its flavor in the mix. Lastly, the caramelized or burnt aspect of the cider contributed a lingering almost bitter note to the drink, and this blended in well with the dry toastiness of the sherry.

Good luck to Dean and Chad as this drink competes soon at the finals held at the Clover Club in Brooklyn, NY!
Charred Apple Cider (scaled down)
• 1 Apple (cut into eighths).
• 1 tsp Sugar
• 2 tsp Brown Sugar
• 8 oz Water
Stir apples with sugar and leave for 30 minutes.
Place pan on high heat until smoking. Add sugared apples with any juice that was extracted. Cook with stirring until apples caramelize and begin to turn black on edges.
Add water and brown sugar. Scrape solids from bottom of pan. Simmer for 10 minutes.
Remove from heat, cover, and let steep for 60 minutes.
Strain through tea towel.
Note: I found my cider to be rather dilute so I boiled mine down in half at this point.

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