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Dave’s Mapletini

It's really an appletini with a maple and cinnamon touch.

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This simple but perfect autumnal martini was born from my first (and only) bartender gig* as a volunteer and participant in a special charity event for Catskill Waters back in October of this year. I was called upon to create a unique cocktail to serve at a gallery opening before the dinner event. The idea was to get local sponsors to contribute ingredients and booze, and we had some good luck with that. Initially I wanted to get a donation from one of two local distillers who make an apple vodka, but no dice, so I won’t mention their names. However, I did get a donation of several liters of vodka from my favorite local liquor store whom I WILL mention: they’re called The Wine Hutch in Kingston, NY and they have been my source for many great unique bottles of goodness over the years. We also had some good local maple syrup from Tree Juice in Arkville, NY who has been my maple syrup source for several years (we buy it by the gallon). So, since the local nameless distillers were lame and didn’t donate, I had to make my own apple vodka in large quantities. That worked out just fine because I had just discovered that I had 3 old decrepit apple trees on my property that all of a sudden decided to drop apples onto the ground. They were delicious and bountiful enough to provide apple pie filling for the holidays as well as plenty of apples to eat and use for my vodka infusions. I was also fortunate enough to have several empty half-gallon mason jars (coincidentally left over from previous deliveries of Tree Juice maple syrup) and a bunch of cinnamon sticks. I won’t go into the details of infusing, but I will note that cinnamon and cloves are really strong, so only put one cinnamon stick in per quart and I recommend taking it out after a day or two. Same with the cloves – only put in 2 or 3 or you can leave those out if you want a more delicate flavor. The other minor point is that the balance between maple syrup and lemon is very tricky to get right. My measurements are pretty close, but you might find that you want a bit more or less syrup based on your particular tastes. I’ve made several variations on these 3 simple ingredients, and I can report that they are all wonderful, and were a huge success at the charity event (I ran out) as well as a big hit with friends at subsequent events, so enjoy! Also, not to brag, but Kate Pierson of the B-52s liked my cocktail!

* I have since become an actual bartender!

  • 2 oz. apple/cinnamon/clove infused vodka

  • ½ oz. freshly squeezed lemon juice

  • ¼ oz. pure maple syrup

  • Garnish with apple slice or lemon twist

Shake with ice, strain and pour, add garnish



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