Ethan Allen’s Green Mountain Boys probably drank this before capturing Fort Ticonderoga
The Stone Fence Cocktail (sometimes called the Stone Wall) predates America’s revolutionary war. More history later.
What you need to know now is that the Stone Fence is a wonderful autumn refresher. It’s great as a predinner drink. Like maybe before your Thanksgiving feast? It also works as a Sunday afternoon sipper while you’re watching football.
Drink this and you’ll be the real winner, no matter how your team fares.
Recipe: The Stone Fence Cocktail
The Stone Fence has only two ingredients: Hard apple cider and rum. So it’s very easy to make.
The flavor of this drink somewhat resmbles that of the Dark and Stormy Cocktail (which combines dark rum with ginger beer and lime juice). We prefer the D&S in warm weather, though. The Stone Fence speaks to us when there’s a chill in the air.
This recipe takes about 5 minutes to prepare, and serves one.
- 1½ to 2 ounces dark or amber rum (to taste; see Notes if you want to substitute another spirit)
- hard cider (may substitute non-alcoholic cider)
- apple slice or wedge for garnish (very optional)
- Fill a tall (Collins) glass halfway with ice cubes (may substitute a rocks glass if you prefer). Add the rum. Fill to the top with hard cider. Give it a quick stir to mix.
- Add an apple slice or wedge for garnish, if you wish, and serve.
- We prefer dark rum in this drink. But amber (gold) rum works fine, too.
- Ingredient quantities for this cocktail are flexible, so you can vary them to taste. But we think the drink tastes best if the rum:cider ratio is about 1:3 (no more than 1:5).
- In colonial America, diners typically drank hard cider with their meals. Water often was not safe to drink, so just about everyone (children included) preferred fermented cider or beer/ale. Nonalcoholic (unfermented) “soft” cider was also available, but it spoiled more quickly than hard cider, so it wasn’t a reliable source of hydration.
- You can generally find 6-packs of hard cider wherever beer is sold. (Some high-quality ciders are sold in larger wine-sized bottles.) Your local liquor store probably has a selection of brands available. We suggest asking them for a cider that’s on the dry side. Dry works better than sweet in this drink.
- BTW, some ciders have added flavorings. Avoid those when you’re making this cocktail.
- You can substitute soft (nonalcoholic) cider in this drink if you prefer.
- Rum was very popular in colonial America, partly because it was distilled from sugar cane grown in the nearby Caribbean islands. The first rum distillery in the American colonies was constructed in 1664 on Staten Island. Boston followed with its own distillery in 1667. Within a short time, the spirit became so popular that rum distilling was New England’s largest industry.
- Over time, the colonists began distilling other spirits too, especially applejack (apple brandy) and rye whiskey. Bourbon whiskey soon caught on as well. You can substitute any of these spirits for rum in this drink if you wish.
- OK, so what’s the story with Ethan Allen and the Green Mountain Boys? They were a militia formed in the late 1760s in New Hampshire (in an area that later split off to become the state of Vermont). The Green Mountain Boys originally organized to resist incursions by the state of New York. Later on, remnants of the group fought in the American war for independence.
- The Green Mountain Boys were loosely organized, but Ethan Allen is usually credited as their leader. Shortly after the battles of Lexington and Concord in 1775, Allen and some of his Green Mountain Boys gathered at the Catamount Tavern in Bennington (in what is now Vermont), where they planned an attack on the British garrison at Fort Ticonderoga. Legend says they drank many a Stone Fence to boost their courage.
- As it turned out, they didn’t need much courage after all. The fort was very lightly defended and they quickly captured the lone sentry on duty. No one was killed in the action. (The Green Mountain Boys plundered the fort’s liquor stores, of course.)
- BTW, during late 1775/early 1776, Henry Knox, an officer in the Continental Army, transported the cannons captured at Fort Ticonderoga to the heights overlooking Boston, which was being besieged by the British. The arrival of the cannons persuaded the British to move their fleet out of Boston harbor, thus shifting Britain’s main military efforts away from New England.
“Yum,” said Mrs. Kitchen Riffs. “This cider flavor is really a-peeling.”
“I’m ‘cited about the cider,” I said. “And it mixes so well with dark rum.”
“Core-rect,” said Mrs K R.
“That was a very fruitful comment,” I said.
“Ah, you’re just an apple polisher,” said Mrs K R.
Well, she is the apple of my eye.
You may also enjoy reading about:
Dark and Stormy Cocktail
Hot Spiced Apple Cider with Rum
Betsy Ross Cocktail
Brandy Smash Cocktail
Cranberry Shrub Cocktail with Bourbon
Or check out the index for more