A smooth apple brandy will make all the difference. This is a classic highball—strong, simple and not too sweet.
makes 1 highball | start to finish: 5 minutes
1 1/2 ounces apple brandy
2 dashes bitters
1/2 teaspoon-0 sugar
6 ounces cider
lemon twist for garnish
Fill a highball glass two thirds of the way with ice. Pour in the apple brandy, bitters and sugar on top of the ice. Cover the glass with a cocktail shaker and shake until the contents are well chilled. Top up the glass with cider, garnish with a lemon twist and serve.
A note on bitters
Angostura or Peychaud’s bitters are the ones you’ll be able to find most easily in grocery stores. With the bitters revival going on, we suggest tracking down terrific aromatic bitters from companies like Scrappy’s, Bittermens, Fee Brothers, Hella Bitter or The Bitter Truth. They can be pricey, but since you’re using just a drop or two per cocktail, each bottle goes a long way. The flavors vary slightly from brand to brand—and even with that tiny amount in each drink, they can really improve the final cocktail. We figure if you’re starting with great cider, you’ll want to get all the details done right.