I love having a signature cocktail when I throw a party. Last year at my honey-themed birthday party I had a station set up where guests could make a Honey Badger (St. Germain, honey syrup and sparkling wine). So when I hosted my harvest-themed dinner party, I decided to come up with something fun to drink besides wine.
Since I had just made my own home-pressed apple cider, I used that as a base. I heated it up with some mulling spices to give it more flavor, letting it simmer for about 10 minutes with a cinnamon stick, cloves, allspice and dried orange peel. Once the spices were strained out, I contemplated my liquor cabinet.
Whenever autumn rolls around, I usually buy a bottle of Laird’s Applejack to keep on hand so that was the first bottle I grabbed. But I wanted something a little sweet in there too, so I brought out the Pinnacle Whipped Vodka (I know, I know, but it was free so don’t judge me!).
I kept varying the amounts until I got something I liked — not too sweet, not too strong, but with a boozy “warmth.” If you’re making this at home, just adjust things to your taste and if you don’t want to use whipped cream-flavored vodka (which I can appreciate) Whaler’s Vanilla Rum would also work beautifully in here. Or just plain vodka if you don’t dig sweet.
Clearly this is a “recipe” you can tweak.
I let my mixture sit overnight so the flavors could marry. When I took it out the next morning, it was perfect — it looked like honey and had a sweet (but not cloying) apple smell.
Since this was supposed to be a festive shot, and by this point a play on apple pie, I thought I’d whip some cream to top it with. And, for the perfect garnish, I used a drizzle of cajeta (goat’s milk caramel) from The Portland Creamery. This caramel is the stuff dreams are made of — if you live in Portland, track this down. It’s amazing!
My only problem is coming up with a name for them…I’ve just been referring to them as deliciously evil so I guess that’s what I should stick to!