Now that I’ll be picking up my new bottle of Calvados on the way home from work tonight, I’ve given some thought to makeing cocktails with it rather than simply drinking it neat. Don’t get me wrong — a snifter of Calvados after (or even during) dinner is absolutely superb. It seems to me, though, that the intense apple flavor and aroma of this magnificent brandy would lend itself wonderfully to a good cocktail recipe.
After my parents came back from their first trip to France several years ago they were raving about Calvados, the superb apple brandy made in Normandy. Dad told me about what became his favorite cocktail while on this trip, a simple mixture of Calvados and apple juice on the rocks. He wasn’t sure of the proportions, and this seems to be perhaps the best way to drink this brandy if you’re going to mix it. Also recommended is 1/3 Calvados and 2/3 tonic water, but I haven’t tried that yet.
Oddly enough, I haven’t been able to find any reference to the supposedly classic Calvados/apple juice cocktail on the web, although many Calvados makers produce a product called Pommeau de Normandie, which is a mixture of Calvados and apple juice that’s aged anywhere from 1-3 years in oaken casks (and which sounds fabulous). I’ll experiment more with the proportions in my on-the-spot mixture thereof, and let y’all know.
In the meantime, have a look at his recipe, which I found on the website of a Calvados distillery. This looks potentially tasty, but use a good product like Apry rather than a cheap apricot brandy (don’t use Hiram Walker!)
1-1/2 ounces of Calvados
1 ounce apricot brandy (Apry is a good brand)
1/2 ounce fresh lemon juice
1 thin slice of apple (brushed with lemon juice to prevent discoloration)
1 long thin piece of lemon peel
Pour the liquors and lemon juice into a cocktail shaker over cracked ice, shake until chilled, then strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with the slice of apple and lemon peel.