Autumn, apples, brandy. The three go hand in hand in this cocktail. With only three ingredients and no shaking required, it’s ideal for autumn get togethers or chilly nights by the fire.
People always talk about the way your tastes change as you get older, but I never thought I’d enjoy a sip of brandy. To me it was an old person’s drink; something I couldn’t appreciate the taste of. I worked behind a bar whilst I was at college and only the bearded or bald ever ordered it. It was to be sipped in leather wingback chairs in a gentleman’s library. How’s that for stereotyping?
Here I am though, sharing a brandy cocktail with you at the grand age of 26. I actually enjoy the caramel and oak heat that comes with a nip of brandy, even neat, but especially in this autumn mix.
Its amber gold hue is seasonal enough, but with crisp cloudy apple juice and the warming spice of ginger, this becomes autumn in a glass.
If you’re looking for a bottle of brandy to use with mixers, I recommend finding a VS brandy. The VS (very special) marks that the youngest component of the blend has been aged for at least two years. That might seem like a long time but actually, that’s the youngest brandy you’ll find on the shelves and is normally the most affordable.
Bottles marked VSOP and XO have been aged for at least 4 and 6 years respectively. They’re best savoured neat so don’t let a brandy expert catch you using those in this recipe. VS is what you’re looking for.
Before we head in to the recipe, you all know how I love a good brand story? Well you might have noticed that I used Courvoisier in my cocktail (This isn’t a sponsored post by the way, just a little geekery). The classic bottle shape with the super thin neck is called the Josephine bottle, named after Napoleon Bonaparte’s wife. It turns out he was a huge fan of Courvoisier so he ordered his artillery to receive a ration of brandy as part of their morning routine. After he was defeated at Waterloo and sent to live in exile in St Helena, he chose a barrel of Courvoisier as one of his permitted luxury items. Desert Island Discs, 1815 style.
So there you have a simple autumn cocktail for parties, dinners and cosy nights in and an interesting story to tell with it. I’d love it if you tried this recipe out and it would be even more awesome if I could convert you to the oaky richness of brandy.
- 50ml VS Brandy
- 200ml Cloudy Apple Juice
- 100ml Ginger Ale
- Fill a glass with ice.
- Pour over the brandy and apple juice.
- Top with ginger ale.
- Garnish with a slice of apple
For a warmed version, heat the apple juice and brandy, pour in to mugs then top with the ginger ale.