There are certain flavours that are really only appropriate at certain times of the year. For example, a passionfruit and coconut swizzle is just not done in November. A wonderful drink, certainly, but totally not on when it's cold out. On the flipside, eyebrows would be raised if you were to offer a maple and cinnamon Old-Fashioned in July. It's just not right. And so, it is cold out and daylight's a fleeting thing. We're in the part of the year when those rich, warming spice flavours come in favour. In fact, spice goes so well with winter that last December's MxMo (hosted by Colonel Tiki) was themed for it. As part of my preparation, I made a batch of homemade Krupnik - a traditional liqueur sweetened with honey and flavoured with spices, and popular in Poland and Lithuania. There is at least one commercially produced Krupnik available in the UK but I made another batch a couple of weeks ago to use in our cocktail of the week at work. The recipe is so simple but our customers seem to have really appreciated the fact that we took the time to make our own ingredients.
Of course, if you're going to make your own liqueurs, it seems foolish to only use it in one drink.
Spiced Apple Sidecar
Half of a Pink Lady apple
30ml Cognac 15ml Krupnik (I used our homemade variety, but there are commercially produced versions. If you can't find one, Drambuie works as a substitute.)
15ml Grand Marnier (If you use Drambuie instead of Krupnik, I'd suggest using Cointreau or another Triple Sec with a neutral spirit base.)
20ml lemon juice
1 dash egg white
Apply a mixture of ground cinnamon and caster sugar to the rim of a martini glass. Muddle the apple in the base of a shaker and add the other ingredients. Dry-shake all ingredients; add ice and shake. Fine-strain into the cinnamon/sugar rimmed glass.