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01.26.11 by  

Cocktail Talk with Andrew Noye

We gave the Blackberry Farm mixologist a topic — apples aren’t just for cobblers anymore — and asked him to discuss. Part 4 of a 5-part mixology series on using Mother Nature’s finest more innovatively. Go ahead, read amongst yourselves.

Just when we thought there was absolutely no reason to go apple picking, Blackberry Farm’s Andrew Noye schools us in how to incorporate the fruit into your cocktail menu. In Part 4 of a 5-part series, Blackberry Farm’s Andrew Noye discusses how he uses them in cocktails in every form from ciders to butters.

Blackberry Farm's Blackberry Apple Cider Spritzer for warm-weather sipping.

served raw: apples aren’t the first things that come to mind when mixing cocktails. how are you using apples innovatively?

Andrew Noye: We love when apple season comes around. There are a fair amount of orchards in the area and we like to press our own during the fall — very fresh non-pasteurized and delicious. This year we took some fresh cider and let it sit for a few days until it began to oxidize slightly and then we took sliced granny smith apples and added them to brighten the acidity, but still have the roundness. It really is something great to work with it can be mixed with almost anything, and it doesn’t require tons of extra sugar. Apple butter is the ingredient we’ll play with next. We make our own, which is available through Williams-Sonoma. I want to make an apple cocktail using our apple butter and moonshine. There is a great tradition in the South of making Apple Pie Moonshine, so it makes perfect sense to use a preserved apple product.

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if you don’t like a sweet or fruity drink, how can you use apples to create balance?

If you use fresh apple cider it’s almost perfectly balanced to begin with. Cider itself is sweet, tangy and a little astringent all at the same time. Using it as your canvas or base allows you to build a beautiful cocktail without using 500 ingredients. You can even muddle a few slices of apple in a shaker tin to get that bit of sweetness and acidity. Roasted apples with brown sugar, puréed and added to bourbon or rye … dynamite. Apple is a very versatile fruit to use in cocktails, whether fresh, juiced, roasted, poached and fermented and or distilled. Unfortunately, I think we’ve alll turned our backs a bit on the fruit ever since the sour apple martini became so popular.

what are your favorite apple-infused cocktails?

Calvados neat. I used to work for a Normandy chef and there was nothing like having a great Calvados that was made by a very small farmer with Claude. I miss those days. A good substitute and one that warms you just the same, moonshine infused with apple pie filling. Another favorite is my signature Scotch Smoked Apple.

Scotch Smoked Apple

  1. Combine ingredients in a highball glass with ice. Stir and serve.