This cocktail tastes like apple pie, winter evenings by the fireplace and all those warm, toasty baking spices that call to you when temperatures drop and Christmas is in the air. Oh, and did I mention it only requires three ingredients? So you can whip it together for impromptu get togethers or holiday parties and either way your guests will be impressed.
Like I said, there are only three ingredients in this cocktail. The first is cognac. Yes, yes, I am suggesting you put this lovely liqueur into a mixed drink. I tested it with bourbon and dark rum, but neither quite added the right lush, fruity notes that the cognac imparted on the drink.
The next ingredient is Pimento or Allspice Dram. These liqueurs are strong and sweet with spicy allspice notes. You can find The Bitter Truth Pimento Dram online for between $25 and $30 or if you’re feeling particularly ambitious you can make your own.
Lastly, you need apple butter. Any variety will work, but a smoother version will blend more seamlessly into the drink. My recipe calls for 1 Tablespoon, but you can choose to adjust based on how sweet your apple butter is. My first round was made with an organic variety from the grocery store and I needed a full heaping tablespoon to properly round out the drink. When I later made the cocktail again, I used a more heavily sweetened and spiced version from a local bakery and the drink needed less to taste perfectly appley and delicious.
Here’s the recipe.
The Merry & Bright
2 oz. cognac
.5 oz. allspice or pimento dram
1 Tablespoon apple butter
Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake vigorously. Pour over fresh ice. Garnish with a fresh or dried apple slice, cinnamon stick, or other festive topping.