If your holiday festivities include alcohol, consider putting a lighter drink in the rotation to refresh your palate from all the heavy bourbon, egg nog, and dark rum drinks.
I suggest a variation on the Sidecar made with Calvados, a French apple brandy made up in Normandy with the same care as their southern neighbors make cognac. The sweet calvados and Cointreau mixed with the tart citrus bite of the lemon juice make the Calvados Sidecar a lively cocktail that will lighten your holiday spirits.
Save this recipe card to your iPhone and import them into the free Highball app.
Head over to the best liquor store in your area and find a decent bottle of Calvados and pick up a few lemons and oranges at the grocery store. I’m sure you still have a bottle of Cointreau on your shelf left over from this summer.
We’re working our way through a bottle of Pays d’Auge Réserve from Domaine de Montreuil. It is lighter in color than most other brands, but features nice apple, honey, and wood flavors.
Calvados is also a good sipper. Treat it like brandy and serve it in a snifter.
If sweet vermouth is your thing, stir equal parts calvados and sweet vermouth with ice and strain into a cocktail glass and garnish with a lemon peel. That is called a Bentley. (Optionally add 2 dashes of bitters, I prefer orange.)
Calvados Sidecar Recipe
- 1 oz Calvados
- 1 oz Cointreau
- 1 oz fresh lemon juice
Add all ingredients into a shaker with ice and shake vigorously. Strain into a coupe and garnish with an orange peel.
Fall has arrived here in NY. With a cool breeze coming through the window as I write this, I can’t think of anything more fitting to imbibe than a rye old fashioned.
There are more variations of this drink than there are grains of sugar in it, but here is my favorite:
Rye Old Fashioned
Combine the simple syrup, bitters, and rye in a rocks glass and stir. Add the ice cube and garnish with an orange peel and a homemade maraschino cherry.
Save this recipe card image to your iPhone and import it into the free Highball app.
Put down your tacos and skip the transformation photos. Have a drink instead.
The Mayan Mule is a variation on the Moscow Mule. Instead of the flavorless vodka, we use Reposado tequila, which has a nice balanced of agave and wood. This cuts the lime and ginger beer, making a balanced drink.
For making crushed ice, I highly recommend the Neat Ice Kit by Studio Neat. (Thanks for ours, Sean!) It is the best way to make perfectly clear ice at home. It contains an ice mold, wooden muddler, steel chisel, and canvas Lewis bag.
- 2 oz Reposado tequila
- 1/2 oz lime juice
- 2 dashes bitters
- 3 oz ginger beer
- Crushed ice
Fill a mule mug with crushed ice. Pour in the lime juice, reposado, and bitters, then top off with the ginger beer. Garnish with a lime wheel and mint sprig.
If you use the Highball app from Studio Neat (and I suggest that you do, iPhone users), you can import this card directly into the app for the fully editable recipe: