This martini is an adaptation of Scott Beatties apple cocktail in his "Artisanal Cocktails" book. The book itself is quite stunning. The pictures are absolutely amazing, colorful and downright inspiring. The only problem is, many of the ingredients are somewhat hard to locate. Some reviewers of the book have complained that not only the ingredients but techniques are a bit cumbersome for the average at home cocktail connoisseur. The original recipe is floating all over the internet, but here, I will give you my version with the ingredients I was able to find locally, including the adjustments I made, as well as a few suggestions (what I would do if I made it all again). If you're interested in the original it shouldn't be too hard to locate with a quick google search. This cocktail is the ultimate in fall cocktails as it highlights one of falls most joyous and plentiful bounties, the apple.
I feel blessed to live in Bellingham for a variety of reasons, one being that we boast the greatest apple orchard on planet Earth; Bellewood Acres. Every year Bellewood supplies our local grocery stores with boxes full of a wide variety of apples, my favorite being the 'Honeycrisp'. They also make peanut butters, pies, vinegars, syrups, apple chips, and other treats. But the one product that has me awaiting it's release year after year has always been their fresh pressed Cider. I know Fall has arrived as soon as those amber colored jugs line the cold case at the store. I'm not sure what makes a technical cider, spices maybe? Because if so, this has none. It is pure, unadulterated, pressed apple juice pasteurized with UV light, ensuring it doesn't lose any of it's incredible flavor. It's sweet and tart. Like the loveliest punch your taste-buds ever felt. Better than any juice I've ever consumed, and frankly, better than most raw apples. I kid you not. Needless to say, this year I couldn't wait for our grocery stores to stock their shelves, so, on the first day of autumn I threw on a pair of jeans and a sweater (despite the 80 degree weather) and headed out to the apple orchard, fingers crossed they would have a fridge full of freshly made Cider. What a better way to spend the first day of Fall, despite the hot summer-like weather, than at an apple orchard? Inside the country store patrons are not only allowed, but heartily encouraged to sample just about everything this farm produces. Apples? Of course, about 6 different varieties all placed under glass domes. Pears too. How about a surprisingly juicy dehydrated apple chip? Yes, please. Little slices of treats from the baker? You bet. I tasted a delicious house made butterfinger, which I believe is a simple combo of Bellewood's peanut butter, covered in dark chocolate. And it doesn't stop there. How about sips of cider syrup? Or, just a splash of the two varieties of cider vinegar they carry? No problem (although this is likely for the more adventurous palate, not everyone would be too keen on sipping straight vinegar). To sweeten the deal try a shot of the cider I've been raving about above. To finish it off why not sample the different variety of cheeses they carry, french blue cheese on a slice of pear? Why, of course. What I thought was going to be a rather quick stop to grab a gallon of cider, turned into an hour and half of tasting delights. The woman behind the counter, whose name escapes me now, was so incredibly friendly. Despite my disdain for the hot weather outside, I thoroughly enjoyed myself on one of my favorite days of the year, and, ended up buying more than just cider.
Back to the cocktail recipe at hand, shall we? Beattie's recipe called for a brand of apple juice and sparkling cider I'd never heard of. I knew I had to use Bellewood's Cider instead. What he suggested couldn't possibly be better than that. I made this cocktail for the 'Around the Table' (my cooking clubs) 'local' dinner (post to follow shortly). I requested cocktail because I hadn't made one since December of last year. I love cocktails, and rarely get a good opportunity to excuse buying an expensive bottle of booze, not to mention all the ingredients, AND special tool I needed to make this particular one. I had such a blast making this cocktail that I've decided cooking group assigned or not, I would like to attempt making one special cocktail a month. It's a nice treat. I don't need much prodding to think of an excuse to buy a gourmet ingredients. They're my little indulgences of choice I suppose, not jewelry or clothing like many of the twenty somethings out there, but, good food and drink. Beattie was part of that inspiration. Drinks can be incredibly gorgeous, sophisticated, fun, and indulgent. I look forward to the adventures in alcohol that await me! One thing that this recipe called for that I was not willing to sacrifice was the cocktail foam. I've had cocktail foam once in my life, at a lovely restaurant/bar down in Portland. It was a passion-fruit foam served atop the most satisfying pear martini you could imagine. I was hooked. The foam was bubbly, light, sweet, and without it the drink just wouldn't have tasted as good or commanded the presence that it did when it was placed in front of me. I knew, without the foam, this cocktail would resemble just 'another' apple martini. Boring. Which simply wouldn't do, especially not for my gourmet girls. Cocktail foam might sound complicated and perhaps a bit scary, but trust me, it's not. All you need it a whipped creamer with nitrous oxide chargers, a few easy to find ingredients and viola, you've got foam! I did a lot of reading up on foam, Beattie prefers to use a coconut milk/gelatin combo, other bartenders prefer to use pasteurized egg white as their base. I tried Scott's for this recipe, which I found it to be too gelatinous. There's not a lot of gelatin, but clearly, too much. It doesn't slowly 'melt' onto the drink as a foam should. It stayed put. At first it tasting light, fresh and airy, but, after a few minutes it really started to resemble jello a bit. Which was pure ick. I think this foam could be perfected though. Next time I try this method I will plan to cut back on the gelatin by 1/2 teaspoon. I also increased the booze and juice ratio. I found that Beattie's original didn't fill up the martini glass enough, which I hate in home or at restaurant. Who want's half a martini? Fill up my glass please, because when it comes to a freshly poured martini there is no such thing as your glass being 'half full'. All in all I enjoyed this drink. In fact, as soon as I finish up writing here I'm going to go into the kitchen and shake one up. This martini would be the perfect accompaniment to any autumn cocktail or dinner party, or frankly, a quiet, chilly night curled up on your sofa at home!
Recipe : The "Original Sin' Martini
Ingredients: (Per Martini)
2 oz. apple brandy (I used a french Calvados)
3 oz. freshly squeezed apple juice/cider (I used Bellewood Acres Cider)
1/4 oz. simple syrup (using a flavored in this martini is best, Beattie suggest ginger, I used Bellewoods apple syrup, but I thought a lemon thyme infused simple syrup would be really nice as well)
slice of lemon, lightly squeezed (into the shaker)
splash of sparkling cider (use the lightest flavored you can find, for example, I would say the ever popular martinelli's would be too strong)
Apple Foam (recipe below)
Dehydrated Apple Chips for garnish
Cinnamon sugar for the rim
1. Prepare your martini glass by lightly rubbing the cut end of a lemon along the rim of the martini glass and lightly dipping in the cinnamon. I chose to only dip half the rim in the cinnamon sugar as to not over sweeten and allow the drinker to choose weather or not they wanted the cinnamon sugar with each sip or not. It sure is pretty though.
2. Pour first four ingredients (brandy through simple syrup) into a martini shaker filled with ice. (You can double, triple, quadruple all of this to make as many martini's as you need).
3. Lightly squeeze and throw slice of lemon into the shaker.
4. Place the lid on the shaker and shake vigorously for 15-30 seconds.
5. Pour into prepared martini glass.
6. Top off a splash of sparkling cider.
7. Finish it off with apple foam and dehydrated apple chip.
8. Bottoms up!
Apple Foam: (makes appx. 2 cups)
1 1/4 tsp. gelatin (remember, I would cut back 1/4 to 1/2 tsp here the next time)
9 oz. fruit juice (for this cocktail, use your cider/apple juice)
3 oz. simple syrup
1/3 cup full fat thai coconut milk
1. Soak gelatin in 3 oz. of juice in small/medium sized bowl for ten minutes.
2. Fill a large bowl up with ice.
3. Meanwhile, pour remaining 6 oz of juice, and 3 oz. of simple syrup into a small saucepan and bring to a slight boil.
4. After the gelatin has had time to bloom, place the small bowl with gelatin into the large ice bowl and slowly pour hot liquid over the gelatin/juice mixture, whisking until it become frothy, appx. 30 seconds.
5. Allow gelatin to cool to 45 degrees or below (this will only take a few minutes in ice bath), and then whisk in the coconut milk.
6. Pour mixture into whipped cream canister. Securely tighten the lid.
7. Invert canister and charge with cartridge. Immediately place it in the refrigerator to cool. I allowed mine to cool 24 hours to stabilize before using. Beattie suggests this, but says that the foam should be ready to use within ten minutes of chilling in the fridge.
* When dispensing foam, invert can completely or else you will loose the nitrous necessary to whip it up.