Yup, this is our last blog post. More details on that in a bit. But first let’s concentrate on this delightful fall-themed drink.
Applejack and orange juice celebrate autumn flavors. Brandy and grenadine add extra punch and tingle. The result?
A drink that says hello to fall. Even when it’s saying goodbye.
Recipe: The Swan Song Cocktail
This is one of the rare cocktails that features two primary spirits (brandy and applejack in this case). Most cocktails have one primary spirit, plus lesser quantities of secondary flavorings (like vermouth, for instance). But applejack and brandy pair quite well, so the combination really works in this drink. Adding OJ enhances the fruity flavor. But this drink still has bite – and it’s definitely dry enough to serve as a predinner drink.
This cocktail is much less well known than it should be. We found it in Lesley M. M. Blume’s Let’s Bring Back: The Cocktail Edition (a fun collection of largely forgotten alcoholic libations).
This recipe takes about 5 minutes to prepare and serves 1.
- 1 ounce brandy or cognac
- 1 ounce applejack (see Notes)
- 1 ounce fresh-squeezed orange juice (see Notes)
- 1 to 2 dashes grenadine (to taste; use more if you want a sweeter drink)
- garnish of an orange twist (optional)
- Add all the ingredients (except garnish) to a cocktail shaker half filled with ice. Shake vigorously until the contents are well chilled (about 20 seconds).
- Strain into a cocktail glass, preferably one that has been chilled. Garnish, if you wish, and serve.
- This drink traditionally is served “up” in a cocktail glass. But we also like it over ice in a rocks glass.
- We sometimes use bottled orange juice in drinks. But we think this cocktail is much better with freshly squeezed OJ.
- Applejack is a form of brandy that’s made from – wait for it! – apples. In the US, the most common brand of applejack is made by Laird & Company. You’ll most often see the 80-proof version of Laird’s applejack, which is good stuff. But if you can find the bonded (100 proof) version, give it a try – the flavor is superior.
- You could substitute French calvados for applejack (but it will be pricier).
- You can use either domestic brandy or French cognac for this drink. We suggest using a decent name brand, though you don’t need anything particularly expensive. Your local liquor store will probably have a good suggestion.
- For the grenadine? It’s easy to make your own, so that’s what we recommend. See our post on Homemade Grenadine. The most common brand of commercial grenadine has terrific neon color, but blah flavor. When you make grenadine from pomegranate juice, it’s tons better.
- Our usual disclaimer: We’re noncommercial and do not benefit from mentioning brands. We suggest only what we like (and buy with our own money).
- We often skip the orange twist garnish. But it does look nice.
We’ve thoroughly enjoyed writing Kitchen Riffs. But after almost 12 years – in which time we’ve created over 700 posts with thousands of photos and close to a million words – it’s time to move on. We’re healthy and well – we just have some activities planned that won’t mesh with a regular blogging schedule. (We may post some recipes on Facebook in the future, but no promises.)
We’re so grateful to all our readers. You’ve inspired us, and we appreciate your kindness and friendship. We’ve made some terrific blogging buddies who have enriched our lives. We’ll still be visiting your blogs (but do note that we have a lot of activities lined up, so our visits will be sporadic). Please know that we treasure you.
Thanks to everyone.
The Long Goodbye
“Swell sipper for our swan song,” said Mrs. Kitchen Riffs. “Gorgeous, too, just like the song of the swan is reputed to be.”
“It is,” I said. “And no need to do an elaborate song and dance about this being our last post.”
“Writing the blog has been fun and entertaining,” said Mrs K R.
“And we’ve nowhere near run out of ideas for recipes – or puns!” I said. “But it’s time for other things.”
“Yup,” said Mrs K R. “We’re singing from the same page on that.”
“Totally in tune,” I said. “So to speak.”
“But please don’t burst into song,” said Mrs K R. “We don’t want to shatter the cocktail glasses.”
“Guess I do sing in an unusual key,” I said. “But I always dance to my own tunes!”
“Yeah, looney tunes,” said Mrs K R.
Speaking of which: That’s all, folks!