Stephen Dick, a bar­tender at Graf­fiti Mar­ket in Kitch­ener, cre­ates a tasty win­ter warm-up

Stephen Dick pre­sents the “Ap­ple Crum­ble So­lu­tion”


Icalled this cock­tail a “so­lu­tion” for two rea­sons. First, it’s a so­lu­tion by def­i­ni­tion be­cause it is in­gre­di­ents dis­solved in liq­uid. Se­cond, I love be­ing out­side in win­ter and wanted to come up with a so­lu­tion for fel­low out­door en­thu­si­asts look­ing to warm up af­ter a day of ac­tiv­i­ties such as ski­ing.

With the body heat from your hands on a snifter or wine glass to keep the drink nice and warm, this brandy-based cock­tail will do the trick.

I wanted the aro­mas to trig­ger com­fort­ing thoughts of fresh bak­ing and dessert.

The heat and warmth from the ap­ple brandy, with a bit of bour­bon to add a lit­tle body with its spicy notes, Mur­phy’s Law Ap­ple Pie Moon­shine and three to five drops of vanilla ex­tract, we are well on our way to solv­ing Op­er­a­tion: Win­ter Warmup.

Cre­at­ing this drink re­quires mak­ing two sim­ple syrups.

The first syrup is a cin­na­mon and turmeric to sub­tly add a bit of body to the drink.

The se­cond is an ap­ple and oat­meal shrub, achieved by adding vine­gar, to give you a back­ground tart­ness of ap­ples that the al­co­hol doesn’t pro­vide. This is where a bit of pre-plan­ning comes in as the only real time-con­sum­ing part of this ex­er­cise is let­ting your shrub steep overnight.

For the gar­nish, ap­ple rounds are coated with a com­bi­na­tion of brown su­gar, finely chopped steel-cut oats and a lit­tle bit of cin­na­mon to en­hance the crum­ble ex­pe­ri­ence.

This cock­tail is also great for a din­ner party be­cause once you’ve got the in­gre­di­ents set up it only takes 30 sec­onds to com­plete, giv­ing you more time with your guests.

Make it a mock­tail: Sub­sti­tute 2.5 ounces fresh-pressed ap­ple cider for all al­co­holic in­gre­di­ents. Make it a hot toddy: Build cock­tail as per the recipe and add five ounces of brewed tea of your choice. Serve in a heat-proof mug or cup.

The Ap­ple Crum­ble So­lu­tion

1.5 ounces Cal­va­dos ap­ple brandy

½ ounce bour­bon (your choice – I pre­fer a spicier one like Bulleit or Maker’s Mark)

½ ounce Mur­phy’s Law Ap­ple Pie Moon­shine

1/4 ounce (or to taste – de­pend­ing how sweet you pre­fer your cock­tails) Cin­na­mon and Turmeric sim­ple syrup*

1/4 ounce (or to taste – de­pend­ing how tart you pre­fer your cock­tails ) Ap­ple and Oat­meal Shrub* 3 to 5 drops real vanilla ex­tract

1 baked ap­ple crum­ble round*

1. Com­bine all in­gre­di­ents in a brandy snifter or wine glass. Warm in­gre­di­ents us­ing cap­puc­cino steam wand for three to five sec­onds or by set­ting the snifter over a half cup of steam­ing water for 30 to 45 sec­onds. Al­ter­nately, al­low the warmth of your hand to slowly warm the con­tents of the glass. Gen­tly float the baked ap­ple round on top of the cock­tail and slowly savour!

Cin­na­mon and Turmeric Sim­ple Syrup

1 ta­ble­spoon ground cin­na­mon or 2 to 3 sticks whole cin­na­mon

1/4 tea­spoon ground turmeric

1 cup water

1 cup white su­gar

1. Bring water to just un­der boil­ing in a small pot. Wrap ground cin­na­mon and turmeric in cheese­cloth or place in tea strainer and steep for sev­eral min­utes un­til the de­sired flavour is achieved. Re­move cheese­cloth and/or whole cin­na­mon and strain out any solids with a fine strainer. Re­turn the so­lu­tion to the pot and bring back to a low boil. Add the su­gar and gen­tly stir with a whisk un­til all the su­gar is dis­solved. Al­low to cool and store in a ster­il­ized ma­son jar for up to three months.

Time: 15 min­utes

Ap­ple and Oat­meal Shrub

1 cup ap­ple cider vine­gar

1 cup (roughly 1 ap­ple) peeled and chopped ap­ple of your choice

2 ta­ble­spoons steel cut oats

½ to 1 cup white su­gar

1. Bring the ap­ple cider vine­gar to just below boil­ing in a small pot. Add the chopped ap­ple and oats and steep for 10 to 15 min­utes. Dur­ing this process, you can use a potato masher to gen­tly squeeze the juices and flavours from the ap­ple. Strain out all solids and re­move the re­main­ing liq­uid to a ster­il­ized ma­son jar and leave four to six hours or overnight, if pos­si­ble. Re­turn the vine­gar so­lu­tion to the pot and bring to a sim­mer once again. Add the su­gar to taste, de­pend­ing on how tart you want your shrub to be. (For the orig­i­nal recipe, I used 1/2 cup of su­gar). Gen­tly stir with a whisk un­til all the su­gar is dis­solved. Al­low to cool and store in a ster­il­ized ma­son jar for up to three months.

To­tal cook time: 30 min­utes

Rest time: 4 to 24 hours

Baked Ap­ple Crum­ble Rounds

1 ap­ple

2 to 3 ta­ble­spoons brown su­gar

1 tea­spoon ground cin­na­mon

2 ta­ble­spoons oats

1. Slice the ap­ple into 1/8-inch-thick rounds with the core at the cen­tre of the round. Re­move any seeds. Lay them out flat on a bak­ing sheet lined with parch­ment pa­per or a sil­i­cone sheet. Finely chop the oats and com­bine with the cin­na­mon and su­gar in a small bowl. Mix in­gre­di­ents thor­oughly and sprin­kle evenly over the ap­ple rounds. Bake in a 225 F oven for roughly an hour un­til the ap­ple rounds are al­most com­pletely dry, but still have some flex­i­bil­ity. Keep a close eye on the oven dur­ing this time so your ap­ples don’t burn.

Time: 1 hour

Stephen Dick is a bar­tender at Graf­fiti Mar­ket on Glas­gow Street in Kitch­ener.

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