This guest post is brought to you by my friend Graham Holt of Graham’s Travel Blog. While blogging I have made many friends and Graham and I have been long standing fans and supporters of each others blogs. I enjoy his writing and find myself laughing out loud at his adventures and some of his misadventures too. I am so happy that he is here on Big Red Kitchen today sharing his non-neon green Apple Martini.
I had never had an Apple Martini before a friend, who is particularly fond of them, requested that I make this drink about a year ago. Knowing of this request, my wife sent me an interesting NY Times Article titled The Greening Of the Martini , which included several recipes for the drink.
While one of the recipes called for an infusion of apples and vodka, most of these recipes focused on DeKypur Sour Apple Pucker. This product has a flavor that is not completely unlike that of an apple Jolly Rancher, and while it does a good job of masking the flavor of vodka, it ends up being more of a distraction than something that I can proudly serve in my home. Using this product creates a passable drink in a busy bar serving college students, but I was more interested in something that I would actually want to drink.
When apple season rolled around this year, I picked up this project again, and I’ve come up with a recipe with which I’m really happy. Once the required ingredients are prepared, the drink comes together fairly easily. Some may find this a bit too much work for a cocktail, but I have yet to serve this to someone who didn’t thoroughly enjoy it.
The following recipe will make five drinks with enough Apple Infused Vodka left over for those that wish to try the base of this drink straight.
Apple Infused Vodka
2 Medium Apples: This is proven with Cortlands and Fujis, but other, crisp and slightly sour varieties such as Gala and Fuji should work as well. If using a sweeter apple, you may wish to adjust the amount of Heavy Simple Syrup that you use in the final drink.
15 ounces Vodka: Smirnoff works fine for infusing, but a better brand could be substituted if desired.
Chop the apples, discarding the core, and place into a 1 quart Mason jar or similar container; muddle the fruit. Add vodka and store in the refrigerator for 48 hours.
Shake jar several times a day and muddle again after the first 24 hours. At end of the two days, muddle the mixture one last time and strain the infusion by a method that works for you. I’ve used a cone coffee filter holder without a filter for this. This method allows some of the pulp to pass through which you may not desire. Filtering through several layers of cheese cloth would resolve this.
Squeeze out the vodka infused apples to get as much liquid out of them as you can. Store the resulting liquid in a refrigerator; a 17 oz glass flask works well for this purpose. The Apple Infused Vodka may be stored refrigerated for up to two weeks without a noticeable decline in quality.
As a byproduct of this process, you will have some vodka infused apples. These can be discarded or repurposed if you happen to be clever in the kitchen. I tried to make a drunken apple cake, but the alcohol flavor remained too strong. Perhaps carefully cooking the apples first would help.
Heavy Simple Syrup
1 Cup Water
1 1/2 Cups White Sugar
Combine White Sugar and Water in a heavy saucepan over medium heat. Stir until the mixture comes to a boil. Boil for 5 minutes, using a pastry brush dipped in warm water to wash down any sugar crystals that may form on the sides of the saucepan. Allow to cool and bottle.
You may notice that this recipe is between traditional simple syrup (1:1 sugar to water ratio) and rock candy syrup (2:1 sugar to water ratio). I find that this is a good balance between concentration of the syrup and shelf stability. If you already have some simple syrup handy, you may need to adjust for its sweetness in the final drink.
Graham’s Best Vodka Apple Martini
3 oz Apple Infused Vodka
1/2 oz Heavy Simple Syrup
Quarter of a Lemon, with the pips removed
Splash of Martinelli’s Sparkling Apple Cider (1/2 to 1 oz)
Thin Apple Wedge for garnish
Pour Apple Infused Vodka and Heavy Simple Syrup into a cocktail shaker 2/3 full of ice. Squeeze the Quarter of a Lemon into the cocktail shaker and drop it in. Shake well; 30 shakes works well for this drink. Strain into a martini glass, add splash of Martinelli’s Sparkling Apple Cider. Garnish with a Thin Apple Wedge.
Please enjoy the above recipe, fiddle with it, improve on it and let me know how it goes in the comment section below. It’s true that it takes a bit of time to complete, but if you try it, I’m sure that you’ll agree that this drink is worth the effort.
I’m also open to ideas about using the vodka infused apples, so if you have any ideas, let me know.
Graham is the author of Graham’s Travel Blog. When he’s not traveling, he enjoys spending time in the kitchen and maintaining his blog.
Photography by Nicole Holt, Graham’s lovely wife. Video taken on a Flip Cam.
Thank you Graham, I really like that this drink is topped off with Martinelli to give it a bit of fizz and that it is not neon green!