The cocktail today is an eclectic mixture of drinks. Apple Cider, Cognac and sweet red wine. I saw a cocktail in a restaurant some time ago that had these ingredients listed and thought… No. That just sounds weird. Mixing 3 types of alcohol will just taste strange. But John, being brave, ordered it and it was surprisingly delicious. I decided to give it a try at home and after a few failed attempts, managed to find a mix that is refreshing and delicious. And with autumn slowly creeping in, apple cider might just be the perfect drink.
For the base I used Cluver & Jack apple cider. It is widely available, but any good quality local apple cider should work. Cluver & Jack is an apple cider made with fresh-pressed Granny Smith apples. It is crisp and refreshing, full of fresh apple flavours. The Cluver & Jack ciders are made at the well known Paul Cluver Winery.
To add a luxurious touch and some extra depth I have used the Bisquit Classique Cognac. Founded in 1819 by Alexandre Bisquit, this cognac is situated on the Charente River and was bought by Distell in 2009. It is said to have been among the favorite cognacs of Winston Churchill. This cognac offers a bouquet of fresh fruits balanced with wood and vanilla, cinnamon.
To add some sweetness, and color, I chose the 4th Street Sweet Red slightly sparkling wine. This popular sweet red has a fruity sweetness. 4th Street is one of the fastest growing wine brands in SA and incidentally also owned by Distell.
All 3 alcohol elements have a fruity taste and that is what makes this cocktail work. It becomes a sort of cocktail fruit salad. To make it colourful, you can cut up all kinds of fruit to add. Frozen grapes will keep it cool without diluting it and if you add a maraschino cherry or 2, you will get a nice color pop. I used some Granny Smith apples and fruit juice with pulp.
Recipe – Apple Cider Cognac Cocktail
(Makes 2 big glasses)
- 1 bottle of Cluver & Jack Apple Cider
- 90 ml Biscuit Cognac
- 120 ml orange juice
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 1 Apple, cut into pieces
- 100 ml 4th Street Sweet red wine
Pour all the ingredients except the sweet red wine into a pitcher and give it a good stir. I let it stand in the fridge for a bit to allow the cinnamon to softly flavor the drink. Add some ice to 2 big glasses and pour over the cider mixture. Top up with the Sweet Red wine, split between the 2 glasses.
Decorate with a fresh cinnamon stick and some fruit.