Back to the bottle of Calvados. Calvadoes is a French apple brandy that is used in drink and food recipes. I am also sure that a warmed brandy snifter would be a perfect vessel for this apple brandy as an after dinner drink or a digestif. For now, I want an apple cider martini. It is the season and it just seems right. I love spiced or mulled apple cider based drinks and I just happen to have a jug of apple cider. I have had a few apple martinis but some were too sweet and appley, kind of like apple bubble gum. So for the past couple of weeks I was determined to come up with something I liked and that friends and family would enjoy. So guess who became taste testers. That is right, family and friends. They were more than happy to help out with this task. This is what we all agreed upon . . .
Spiced Apple Cider Martini
Take a 1/2 cup of apple cider and add 1/4 teaspoon of vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract and a good pinch of cinnamon and heat it in the microwave until hot. There is no need to boil the cider, heating it helps incorporate the spices. Set aside and let it come to room temperature.
Note: I love mulled or spiced cider. Sometimes after I have purchased a bottle of apple cider, I will add mulling spices and heat the cider in a pot and just as it starts boiling shut of the heat. Let it steep for 30 minutes or so and strain the cooled cider back into the bottle. Delicious reheated as a steaming cup of cider or simple drinks such as rum and cider. If you use mulled cider in this martini recipe, skip the cinnamon addition.
In a mason jar, large glass or bartender's shaker put 2 ounces of apple flavored vodka (I used Smirnoff because that is all I could find in a smaller bottle), 1 ounce of Calvados and 2 ounces of the apple cider mixture and stir or shake. As you can see, I used a mason jar so I put a lid on it and swirled it to mix it well. Technically there is a difference between shaking and stirring and it does taste a little different. Shaking adds more bubbles, making it frothy and lightens the drink up. Pour into two martini glasses and decorate with slices of or chopped apple and/or cinnamon sticks.
I chopped my apple up and floated them in the martini and they were a delicious ending to the drink. I highly recommend the chopped apple. Totally Yum!
I would serve this drink at room temperature or warmed. The flavors are so much nicer and prominent. The vanilla aroma is the first thing that hits you and that is really nice. So in my opinion no ice is needed, but if chilled is your thing, go for it.
Spiced Apple Cidertini
makes 2 drinks
2 ounce of apple flavored vodka
1 ounce of Calvados
4 ounces of spiced apple cider (recipe below)
Spiced Apple Cider
1/2 cup of apple cider
1/4 teaspoon of vanilla bean paste or extract
A good pinch of ground cinnamon (or 1/8 teaspoon)
Put in the microwave or on the stove and cook until hot but not boiling. Set aside and let it come to room temperature.