Apple Thyme Shrub Cocktail

I flick apples in the produce section. I get the occasional eyebrow raise my direction, but I always end up with the crunchiest, crispest apples. The higher pitch the apple makes, the crunchier the fruit. I don’t compromise here, so I’ll happily endure the raised eyebrows. A good fall apple should be bright in flavor and almost brittle like kettle-cooked potato chips.

Apple thyme shrub cocktail

Apples bring back a flood of memories of gallivanting through an apple orchard in Virginia with my family and our close family friends. The rows were littered with half-eaten apples discarded only to sample another variety until our bellies could fit no more….that is, until we were presented with hot apple fritters and fresh-pressed apple cider back at the farm store.

I recently concocted a drink that captures that sweet, bright, tart burst of flavor in an autumn apple. The trick? Keep reading…

My Perfect Old Fashioned

Ok, I’ve been thinking about this for you. Ready?…

Old Fashioned

10 great ways to spend your time:

  1. Watching the Food Network on the treadmill. (Seriously, you get some great recipe ideas with the added benefit of being a boss.)
  2. Trolling http://animalstalkinginallcaps.tumblr.com
  3. Wandering around a city – new or old
  4. Making a pitcher of cocktails for your friends, because they’ll love you, duh. (The 712 CocktailThe Gin Sour, or The Cinnamon Cidercane would be a great place to start.)
  5. Planning a road trip
  6. Re-watching all of the old Arrested Development
  7. Perusing thrift stores
  8. Lounging on the roof with wine and cheese (Once a week? Twice? No one’s judging.)
  9. Going to a free salsa/swing dancing night and resultingly either embracing how ridiculous you are or flaunting your sweet new moves ;)
  10. Spending an entire week perfecting an Old Fashioned

Definitely time well-spent.

I’ve done all of those pretty recently, but I need someone to keep me accountable for #4, #7, and #9 soon. Any takers?  #10 happened last week in LA with my family. Man, I love my family. Do other families do this? I mean if the first Old Fashioned wasn’t quite right, we have to make a second…obviously. And the second was good but could’ve used a little more bitters, soooo… And then I honestly just wanted to become pro behind the bar, so my family lovingly endured another few Old Fashioneds throughout the course of the week. And I think we came away with something pretty great here.

Easy Cocktail

Here’s what I did:

Old Fashioned

In a tumbler, stir together:
-1 oz. simple syrup (equal parts sugar and water boiled, cooled)
-4 dashes of angostura bitters (ends up being about 6 drops)
-3 oz. (2 shots) of good bourbon

Drop in:
-2 jarred sour cherries (like Morello, or another tart preserved cherry. *Just DON’T use maraschino…unless you’re that one person who likes them and can’t give it up for some weird reason.)
-a few cubes of ice

Obviously this is all to your liking – if you like it a little sweeter, try more simple syrup. Try more or less bitters (I happen to think 4 dashes is great, but some people like 2 and my mom likes 5). Try different kinds of bitters. Try it with an orange twist. Try it in a box. Try it with a fox. Just don’t dye it green ;)

*French phrase for fun:

Je ne les aime pas, moi, je m’appelle Sam.

I do not like them, Sam-I-am.