A+ for a Grade B Beverage

By on 17 October, 2012 in Cocktail Katie, Food with 2 Comments

Photo by Katie

The summer heat has finally relented and the climate has become what my father describes as “something you’d normally pay for.” Dad’s alluding to the fact that the temperature is neither too cold nor too hot, and that’s usually weather one must create (and pay for) with either air conditioning or a heat source.

After work, I like to take a few minutes to amble with my dog down the sidewalks in the Garden District (named one of the best “Old House Neighborhoods” in America last year by This Old House), then head home for a beverage that pays homage to this lovely October Alabama weather. It’s not cool enough yet for mulled wine and other warm drinks, but it is just right for a drink that highlights seasonal fruits like cranberries and apples. Whiskey, another key ingredient of this drink, is fortunately in season year round!

Before I get into the details of the recipe, I want to say something very important about one of the ingredients: Make sure to use real maple syrup, not maple flavored corn syrup. That stuff just won’t do for this drink, or for waffles, or for any purpose other than perhaps as a form of punishment for miscreant children. <Disclaimer: My partner added the latter part of the warning. I personally eat Aunt Jemima’s syrup on my waffles and like it that way.> Grade A or Grade B maple syrup will work for the recipe, but I prefer Grade B, which is darker amber in color and richer in flavor. A funny thing about Grade B maple syrup: Many Americans think that Grade B is a lesser syrup when, in fact, the grade of maple syrup isn’t about better or worse; it’s about color as well as flavor strength. All of this misinterpretation is why the maple syrup industry is considering re-branding with different methods of describing syrup. The reasons for the current Grade A/B rating is lengthy and goes back far in our country’s history – so far back that there were times when the color of sugar on your table said a lot about your social standing. In short, if you want to use the syrup I used and are not concerned with the history of maple syrup, then just look for the maple syrup with the darker color.

The type of whiskey used drastically affects the taste of the drink. So far I’ve tried Southern Comfort (surprisingly not actual whiskey but whiskey flavored liqueur), Jim Beam Rye, Maker’s Mark. Southern Comfort results in a drink with almost no alcohol flavor that is rather sweet.  Maker’s results in the strongest whiskey flavor while Jim Beam Rye is in the middle of the two and is my preferred whiskey (so far) for this drink.
Also, if using lemon juice from the bottle you probably only need 1/2 ounce due to it having a stronger taste.

Whiskey Apple Fizz

Type of Glass: Rocks glass aka old fashioned glass (usually holds 6-10 oz.)

  • 1.5 ounce good quality whiskey
  • 1 ounce lemon juice
  • 1/2 ounce 100% maple syrup
  • 2 ounces white cranberry juice
  • Sparkling apple cider or hard apple cider
  • Garnish: slice of apple – I use organic Daisy Girl (available at Midtown Publix), which is tart but still sweet

Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add the whiskey, lemon juice, maple syrup, and white cranberry juice. Fill a rocks glass with ice, and strain the drink into the rocks glass over the ice. Top with sparkling apple cider or hard apple cider and garnish with a thin slice of apple.

Note: Using a combination white cranberry/strawberry juice will result in a slightly sweeter drink.

Katie is a Garden District resident with a strong belief that a place is what you make of it.

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There Are 2 Brilliant Comments

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  1. Shay says:

    Had this drink last night (used Makers Mark) and it was DELICIOUS!! Perfect balance of sweet and sour, not easily accomplished in a cocktail. Katie, you sure know how to mix up a tasty libation!

  2. Katie says:

    Thanks, Shay!

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