Back in March I featured the Red Clover and lePEARchaun cocktails here on TWJ. Both were pretty tasty cocktails and my end conclusion was that Berentzen makes some pretty tasty stuff. Their mixers weren’t overly cloying and seemed to be rather high in quality. Basically, what I’m saying is I found myself actually enjoying them so when they told me they had a spiced apple bourbon liqueur coming out I was definitely in for trying it.
So what happened? To be honest, I didn’t like drinking it straight. When it comes to flavors I’m more of a salty, savory, tart and spicy kind of guy. I don’t have much of a sweet tooth, but the two folks I had try it that do have a sweet tooth enjoyed it. For the record I don’t really care to drink any of the fruit or honey whiskeys out there straight… but I do like cooking and making cocktails with them, and that’s exactly what I did here.
The Bushel & Barrel has a spiced apple cider aroma and flavor that reminds me of fall, the holidays, apple pie and spiced cider. I thought about looking up an “apple pie” cocktail and doing a twist on it, but then I read the press release they sent and I saw the good folks at Berentzen suggested simply mixing it with cranberry juice and serving over ice. Super simple and, at least in my house, nothing says holidays like cranberry sauce with dinner and apple pie for dessert so we were in business.
The cocktail, to put it bluntly, is freaking awesome. Since the Bushel & Barrel is already so sweet I used the Trader Joe’s 100% cranberry juice which, coincidentally, is my favorite fruit juice on this planet. It has no sugar added, it’s tart, has a dry finish and makes the perfect base for adding sweet liqueurs to. If you use something other than a 100% cranberry juice watch out because they’re usually packed with HFCS (high fructose corn syrup) and are incredibly sweet on their own.
You don’t have to go with Trader Joe’s but I highly recommend using a 100% cranberry juice to make this cocktail. Going this route you end up with a wonderful combination of sweet, tart and cinnamony spice that is incredibly tasty anytime of the year.
Quick Pick Washington Apple Cocktail Recipe
- 2 oz. Berentzen Bushel & Barrel (apple bourbon liqueur)*
- 4 oz. Cranberry Juice
Combine ingredients in a glass with ice and garnish with an apple slice.
*This sample was provided by Berentzen for tasting purposes.