1oz Apple Brandy
12 drops Apothecary Bitters Mystic Caravan Bitters
Add the Apple Brandy (I used Laird’s 100 Proof BIB), Genepy (I used Dolin), Fernet-Branca and Apothecary Bitters Mystic Caravan Bitters to a chilled mixing glass. Add ice and stir until well chilled. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass and serve.
The nose is crisp with accents of honey, anise, herbs and fruit. Flavor wise, this one falls between a Diamondback and Widow’s kiss: boozy with added notes of honey, smoke, apple, pear, clove, wormwood and anise. The finish starts dry and crisp and ends herbal and sweet.
Ok, ok… yup I’m still alive. Sorry it’s been crickets around here for so long. My day job has been beating me up pretty bad and lately when I get some time off, I just wanna go out and live the dream… you understand right??
Anyways, I’m gonna try to get back on the ole’ horse… at least semi regular because I love doing this and plus making cocktails is awesome. Again a thousand apologies for being such a shitty blogger…
Moving on, Fall Back is a riff on two of my favorite boozy cocktails, Diamondback and Widow’s Kiss. In fact it really tastes somewhere in between the two. The common denominator between these two classics is apple brandy. I was looking to make a fall inspired cocktail and this was the first thing I grabbed. I mean this stuff just screams fall. I also backed Apothecary Bitters on Kickstarter a while back (pun intended) and have been aching to share some of their bitters with you all. Possibly my favorite is their Mystic Caravan bitters which is has a smokey pear flavor.
Since it’s getting colder outside, I wanted something boozy, so left out any of those lighter mixers like vermouth, etc and chose to stick with reasonably proof spirits. Taking my cues from the classics mentioned above, I wanted something herbal and anise-y. One of my favorite herbal liquors is Genepy. It’s got that anise flavor of absinthe without being too licorice tasting and the herbal bouquet of Chartreuse. Think of it somewhere in between the two, yet lighter than both.
I drink Fernet-Branca all the time (and please accept no substitutes… I’ve tried them and while some are tolerable, nothing compares to the original). That being said I especially love Fernet when it starts to cool off outside. The powerful herbal flavor really warms me up in all the right ways. I decided to polish off Fall Back with just a little of this favorite amaro. Add too much and it dominates the drink, but in a small dose it adds a lot of complexity and flavor to this combo.
A couple great ideas for this one. Sometimes I find it to be a tad sweet for my mood at times (as you may have noticed I like my drinks dry and bitter most of the time). If you wanna dry it out, cut a quarter ounce off the apple brandy and sub in a quarter ounce of Rye. This version is a hair spicier and definitely a bit drier.
Rinsing the glass is also a great way to change up the flavor. Try using a peaty Scotch to up the smoke factor, or use some absinthe to bring up the herbal flavor. Hell you could do both if you want (I’ve done it…it’s awesome).
You could also definitely sub in Chartreuse, Strega or another herbal liquor in place of Genepy, but it will definitely change up the flavor…. not that any of these wouldn’t be delicious.
Anyways, again sorry for being so lame lately and hope you enjoy this new fall favorite.