Monday, October 25, 2010

Spiced Apple Cidertini

I finally bought a bottle of Calvados.  I have always bypassed it because it was a bit expensive and I didn't think I had enough uses for it. That thinking has changed.  I am the type of person to have bought liquor in the dark ages and still have it.  It takes a while going through liquor when you use 1/4 cup or less a year.  Liquor has a tremendous shelf life so it is not a problem, or is it?  Beware when your kids become teenagers. Strange things seem to happen in the liquor cabinet.  The traditional pumpkin pie flavored with Southern Comfort suddenly doesn't taste quite like it used to, sort of bland and lacking that Southern Comfort flavor.  Maybe a bit diluted. That is a story for another day.

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!
But a simple slice works quite well.
Note on measurements:  2 ounces is equal to a 1/4 of a cup and 4 ounces is a 1/2 cup.  (I bet you probably know this already) A shot glass usually  measures about 1 1/4 ounces.  I used both a shot glass and a cup with ounces marked on it to measure the cidertinis.  Both times the martinis came out the same.  Measuring by shot glass means you probably need to think in parts.  For example:  2 shots vodka, 1 shot of Calvados, and 4 shots of apple cider, stir or shake, pour into you glass of choice and you're done.  Nice, right?!  If you are making a couple of drinks, shots are the easiest measurement but if you are making drinks for a crowd then the measuring cup is the way to go.  Free hand pouring is also a reliable method, but I don't really make enough drinks to do that these days, but go ahead, get crazy and bring out that inner bartender in you!

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.


Print Recipe


  1. You're right about some apple martinis being too sweet sometimes. Well, actually I find all martinis with fruit flavoring too sweet, lol! I've always enjoyed the classic and crisp taste of vodka martini. Although of course once in a while it's fun to dunk into those flavored martinis with your friends. Pomegranate and apple martini were my favorite actually. I would have to try your recipe here and see if it's the perfect mix for that not-swee-apple-martini, lol!

  2. i love sweet cocktails like this. so nice for fall!

  3. This puts a whole new spin on an apple martini! I love the addition of the apple pieces floating on top. I'm the only one who would drink this in our household and amongst our friends but having a bottle of Calvados would be worth the yearly martini! Might make an exception and have a weekly happy hour! Haha!

  4. that's dangerous to post during the middle of my work day. haha.

  5. Oh this sounds good! I love the little apple pieces floating in the glass. You are making me want to have a cocktail now!

  6. This looks amazing! I don't like overtly sweet apple martinis, so this is perfect. Perfect drink for the fall too. Thanks for sharing :-)

  7. pretty! And a nice way to keep warm on a chilly night!

  8. I love this martini, I always want an apple martini but can't stand the bright green Apple Pucker versions.

  9. This sounds great! And I don't even like martinis :) I love apple anything though

  10. ahh yes, teenagers and the liquor cabinet.....I'm sure we could swap stories- much funnier over a glass of Calvados. We're going back to France soon and i'll have to bring home a bottle. In the meantime, your martini looks heavenly!!!


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