Creating cocktail recipes is just as fun for me as creating food recipes. While the outcome is totally different I still keep the same principals in mind. I use seasonal ingredients and experiment until I come up with a concoction that is balanced, unique and, of course, delicious. And, just like recipe creation, sometimes I'll fuss around with an idea a dozen times and still not be happy with it. Other times, when the stars are aligned correctly, I nail it on the first try. That's what happened (woohoo!) with this cocktail. That probably speaks more to the complimentary flavor profiles in the drink than my cocktail creation skills, but, hey, either way it worked out.
In the warmer months I love to use clear liquors like vodka and gin as the base for my cocktails, but come the chillier months, I tend towards bourbons and ryes. They have a warming richness and complexity that pairs really well with wintertime flavors and spices. For this cocktail, I chose to use rye whiskey, specifically Bulleit Rye. The rye is spicy and complex and pairs perfectly with the spiced apple flavors in this cocktail.
Apple in the Rye
1 1/2 oz. rye whiskey (recommended: Bulleit Rye)
1 oz. fresh apple cider
1/4 oz. simple syrup
1/4 oz. lemon juice
2 splashes bitters
dash of ground cinnamon, plus extra for garnish
Fill a cocktail shaker 2/3 full with ice and pour in all ingredients. Shake vigorously for a few seconds and strain into a martini glass. Top with another dash of cinnamon and serve.