After all of the syrupy cocktails, eggnog, and champagne I consumed in the last month (there was a lot!), I am ready for something more refreshing and slightly healthier. I like to whip up fresh juice cocktails this time of year and leave the heavy drinks for the holidays, or at least until next month. A recent favorite is this Apple + Grilled Thyme Smash recipe!
Fresh juiced apples can’t be beat. The flavor is tart, sweet, and totally different from store bought versions. Bourbon and apple happen to be best friends, so it was the natural choice to mix in for a refreshing winter tipple. Plus, bourbon is my favorite so I could be partial to using the spirit, all of the time. For some bright citrus notes I dashed in some limoncello which adds an extra boozy punch as the supporting role to the bourbon.
Grilling tends to make pretty much everything better and cocktails are no exception. Grilled herbs have a lovely aromatic and slightly smokey flavor to them that lends a savory note to food and drinks. This Smash is the perfect mid-winter cocktail — crisp with a touch of sweetness, full of bold flavors, and hearty to keep you warm (is it spring yet?!).
Apple & Grilled Thyme Smash
- 2 ounces bourbon (I used Russel’s Reserve Bourbon, c/o Campari America)
- 1/4 oz limoncello (I used Caravella)
- 3 oz fresh apple juice
- 1 bar spoon simple syrup
- aromatic bitters
- 2 stalks grilled thyme, muddled
- 1 stalk thyme for garnish
- 1 apple slice for garnish
Using a grill or grill pan, grill the stalks for 30 seconds until aromatic, but not burnt. In a cocktail shaker, muddle the bourbon and smoked thyme. Add the rest of the ingredients (minus the garnishes) into the shaker with ice and shake. Double strain into a glass with crushed ice. Garnish with fresh thyme and apple slice.
p.s. To prevent the apples from browning, squeeze on a tiny bit of lemon juice.
How about you? What cocktails or drinks do you like to make post holiday indulgence?
Cocktail, styling, and photography by Craft + Cocktails for Jojotastic