Though most of us have been out of school for a while now, it’s hard not to feel all back-to-school-y when September rolls around here in Boston. As the seasonal bounty turns from summer fruits to apples, so does our hankering for a bit of the sweet stuff … such as delicious and delightful applejack.
Applejack, America’s oldest distilled spirit, is an apple brandy that first became popular during colonial times, with Laird’s & Company as the first commercial producers. William Laird was a Scotch-maker in his native Scotland before crossing the pond in 1698 to settle in Monmouth County, New Jersey. Apples were abundantly available in the region, so he used them to keep making hooch.
In the 1760s Robert Laird served under General George Washington in the Revolutionary Army, which he kept supplied with the “cyder spirits”. General Washington even borrowed the Laird’s family recipe to try his own hand at the distilling.
Aside from the “apple” part, Laird’s Applejack has little in common with other “apple products” in the marketplace, such as apple schnapps and (yech) Pucker, and drinks like whiskey with an apple-y finish. Modern Laird’s Applejack is also considerably different from the colonial stuff, blending real apple brandy with neutral grain spirits to smooth and reduce the alcohol content for our delicate modern palates.
Applejack is as American as apple pie and happens to be helmed by a very cool LUPEC-loving lady, Lisa Laird Dunn. She’s the 9th generation Laird to head up the company. We’ll drink to that!
.75 oz fresh lime juice
1.5 oz applejack
.5 oz sweet vermouth
Shake in iced cocktail shaker; strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Take that, Sour Apple-tini!
FOR MORE GREAT COCKTAIL RECIPES VISIT LUPECBOSTON.COM.
Rub leather-patched shoulders with the tippy-top of the Hub’s high-brow at this Tuesday’s Opus Affair at Upstairs on the Square, a chance for young professionals in the Fine Arts scene to enjoy classy cocktails and even classier company. [Tue 9.13.11. 91 Winthrop St., Cambridge. 6pm/free. 617.864.1933. @OpusAffair. upstairsonthesquare.com]