Remember when I went to France? I miss it because of course I do.
Remember this perfect, rustic dinner? In Normandy? On a gorgeous and idyllic countryside B&B? Consisting of local goods–baguette, cheese, charcuterie, and cider?
…Yeah. I miss that, too. This drink is kind of an homage to that dinner–rustic, smoky, hearty, apple-tart.
Of course, it had to start with calvados, a Normandy specialty. It’s apple brandy and, friends, it is strong. Total beefcake of a spirit, that calvados. It’s a wonderful aperitif, but also, it turns out, a cocktail rockstar: fragrant, and potent enough to be a base spirit.
What I was hoping for with this cocktail was rustic and–stay with me–somehow reminiscent of a countryside barn? With an apple orchard. Is that strange? Probably, but senses are funny that way, and my brain is even funnier when it wants a drink.
Immediately, I went to mezcal for this “rustic” character. Its smokiness–just a touch–gives this cocktail that flavor and scent I am talking about. Maple syrup, lemon, and bitters round everything out and–wow. Here’s your trip to the Norman countryside. Enjoy!
P.S. Be sure to get the GPS for your rental car, and stop in some random small town to spend an afternoon playing darts (oh, and be nice to French people because they are so very sweet).
As a sidenote: I haven’t tried it, but I also think that a peaty, smoky scotch would have similar results in place of the mezcal. We’d call it the Sexy Swamphouse, but I’m getting way ahead of myself here.
Either way, let’s all get baguettes and cheese and make some cocktails (and travel plans, if you can!). XO
- 1 1/2 oz calvados
- 3/4 oz mezcal
- 3/4 oz fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 oz maple syrup
- Angostura bitters
- Apple slices, for garnish (optional)
- Combine everything but the garnish in an ice-filled cocktail shaker and stir until thoroughly chilled.
- Strain into a chilled cocktail glass, garnish if you wanna, and serve right away.