Friday, January 30, 2015

If Sangria Married a Manhattan

I have so much fun playing around with cocktails.

Sure, it's hard work, all that pouring and sipping and whatnot. And some things aren't worthy of writing about. Other times, I come up with ideas that are just too good to not write down for next time.

This time around, my buddies at Crown Royal sent me a bottle of Crown Regal Apple. You might know that I'm a rabid fan of Crown Maple, but this apple stuff was new to me. So I sipped. And it tastes very much like apples. Not a candy-sour-apple sort of thing, but more like apple cider or boiled apple syrup. Apple-apples, and not apple-candy-flavored.

So that led me off in several directions. Caramel apples, cinnamon apples, apple pie ... and then I started thinking about other fruits. First, cherries. But not actual cherries this time, but cherry bitters.

Have you seen all the types of bitters these days? Yikes. And there are recipes online for making your own. It's a whole new mini-industry.

Once I had cherries and apples covered, I decided to add one more thing. The resulting cocktail resembles sangria on the first sip, but then the whisky taste shows up and the cherry and apple come along for the ride again. It's a simple combination, but the flavors are more complex than you'd expect.

If you're into garnishing, I'd suggest an orange slice, cherries, or both. A lemon twist could be interesting, too. But really, I think the color is pretty enough to let it go unadorned.

This would be a fine cocktail for any occasion. How about for watching that "big game" that's coming up? I think it would pair perfectly with chicken wings.

Manhattan Sangria

1 ounce Crown Regal Apple
Plum juice, as needed
Several dashes of cherry bitters, to taste

Fill a short squat glass with ice. Add the Crown Regal Apple.

Top with plum juice to fill the glass (or as desired). Add a few dashes of cherry bitters.

Stir and serve.

I received a bottle of Crown Regal Apple at no cost to me.