Sunday, June 19, 2011

Mixology Monday LVIII: Niche Spirits

It's time for Mixology Monday again and this time the goal is to highlight a drink made with uncommon spirits. So for once I have to stray from the path of rum, whiskey and gin. While pondering what I should make, I remembered a drink that I had a few weeks ago at The Victory Bar. The Happy Jack was pretty good as they made it, but I immediately thought of ways that I could tweak the original recipe. The drink contains applejack, lemon juice, grenadine and allspice dram. Already a solid base, but  a couple of tweaks on the base spirit could make things more interesting. A little while ago I mentioned how interesting Batavia Arrack is and how it has a fairly strong affinity for fruit. Splitting the base spirit between Laird's Applejack, Clear Creek apple brandy and Batavia Arrack made for a complex, layered cocktail that really hits the spot.

Happy 'Rack
1 oz Clear Creek Apple Brandy
0.5 oz Laird's Bonded Applejack
0.5 oz Batavia Arrack
0.75 oz lemon juice
0.25 oz grenadine
0.25 oz Allspice Dram
0.25 oz simple syrup (optional)

Combine all ingredients, shake with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. For an optional garnish, grate a little nutmeg onto the top of the drink.

There is a lot going on in this drink. Arrack dominates the nose, while balancing itself with the whiskey-ish flavor of Laird's on the initial sip. The apple brandy provides a solid, fruity base along with the grenadine while the lemon juice gives the drink a bit of zip and the St. Liz spices everything up. A fine drink to sit and sip on a warm but overcast day like today.


  1. I love how you split the base spirit. Funny I tend to do the same with the Clear Creek Apple brandy. It's a great product with nice apple flavors but I find it a bit thin, so I'll often do 1oz CC and 1/2oz of an older Calvados in a drink that calls for 1 1/2 oz of Apple Brandy. That way I get the touch of a older calvados but I'm not draining a bottle of a more expensive spirit too fast.

  2. Thanks, Filip. Clear Creek's apple brandy is a young spirt and it definitely shows. Amazing fruit flavor, but not a whole lot else going on. Adding something else does help to make for more interesting drinks. One of these days I need to try the older Clear Creek bottling to see how some age changes the spirit.

  3. Hi Jordan,

    this drink is fantastic! I search for drinks made with Arrack van Oosten. I absolutely love the flavor! You should check out my mxmo selection for niche spirits. It's the last one on the roundup page. The cocktail name was incorrect though. I would love to hear what you think. By the way, I love this blog!