Wednesday, December 17, 2014

MxMo XCII: Apples - Dr. Luther

From time to time, I like to look back at some of the shrubs I talked about in the early days of the blog to see how they've held up over the past few years, and in many cases to supply a recipe I may have withheld at the time.

For those of you who have been with me since the beginning, you might remember the apple shrub called 3 Faces of Eve, so named because of my use of three different varietals of apples of varying sweetness and tartness to give a richer, deeper apple profile than if I had simply just used one varietal on its own.

3 Faces of Eve

17 oz apples, equal amounts of semi-sweet, dessert, and Granny Smith varietals
14 oz brown sugar
8.5 oz white wine vinegar
8.5 oz Bragg's Apple Cider Vinegar
Food scale
Sealable non-reactive container
Muddler or heavy spoon or blender
Strainers of increasing fineness
Large measuring cup
Tea strainer
Funnel(preferably canning funnel)
Sealable glass bottle
Rinse apples and chop into small segments.

If using blender, put blender container on scale and use tare function to zero out the reading. Add apple pieces first, until desired weight is reached. Tare again, adding appropriate amount of brown sugar to the container. Blend until apple/sugar mixture is well blended. Pour into clean, resealable jar or non-reactive container and place in fridge for 2-5.

If not using a blender, put non-reactive container on scale and use tare function to zero out the reading. Pour or spoon apples into container until desired weight is reached. Use tare function again.
Pour or spoon brown sugar into container until desired amount is reached. Using muddler, mash sugar into fruit until a thick, syrupy mixture forms. Seal container and rest mixture in refrigerator for 2-5 hours.
After Either Mash step: Remove container from refrigerator and unseal. Place on scale, once again using tare function. Add appropriate amount of white wine and cider vinegar to container. Reseal, and place back into refrigerator. Rest jar one week.
After one week, remove container from refrigerator. Arrange strainers in levels of increasing fineness over measuring cup. Strain liquid through strainers, pressing on pulp to express any trapped shrub.
Place funnel in bottle, and situate tea strainer in funnel opening. Pour strained shrub through tea strainer into bottle, and seal bottle.
Refrigerated shrub should last from six months to one year.

Now, if you're wondering why I would be revisiting this particular shrub now, it's because the amazing creative juggernaut known as Mixology Monday has descended once more, and like the tasty orbs dropped on Newton's noggin, this month brings the theme of Apple.

After bottling this batch of 3 Faces of Eve, I was excited, because what could possibly be friendlier than the flavor of apple?

Well, no one sent this shrub the memo, apparently, because its lack of playing nice with almost anything should earn it a spot on VH-1's 2015 Divas Live! concert, if that's still a thing.

Bourbon. Scotch. Rye. Gin. Nope.

In all honesty, I am not sure what in the shrub seemed to be hanging up on nearly every single spirit I put with it, but I couldn't get these ingredients together for anything. I had one last untapped option and that was Rum.

My thinking was that if I had a rum that had some vanilla notes, I could mix that with apple, and perhaps finally get some magic happening. That said, I was afraid of veering too closely into territory I already mined with the Les Brers which combined rum, allspice dram, and peach shrub, so this had to be a little different.

Then it occurred to me: dammit, Kern, it's winter! Maybe folks would like a little something warm for a change. Perhaps with the addition of some boiling water, I could land somewhere between a toddy and a hot cider kind of situation. I originally thought Zaya rum would be a good choice for this. And it is, but I came to realization that my last name isn't Rockefeller or Kennedy and this was going to be an expensive nightcap if anyone else wanted to recreate the drink at home.

Since I had already decided to go in a more tropical direction with the addition of some Velvet Falernum, my thoughts went to my old favorite, the Corn n' Oil. I have always enjoyed the Corn n' Oil when prepared with the rich, molasses-y taste of Cruzan Black Strap rum, so I gave that a shot and threw in several dashes of Angostura bitters to bolster the warm spice and clove notes in there and cut the sweetness a touch. If I had one, I might have given a little squeeze of lime, just for some brightness, but I'll leave that decision to you.

Overall, it tasted like a rich, almost caramelized apple cider, with enough booze for warmth, but not so much that you'll pass out under the tree. It's like a cardigan for your insides!

Dr. Luther

As for the name, Dr. Luther was the doctor in the film The 3 Faces of Eve who was apparently instrumental in helping Eve discover and deal with her different personalities. As toddies seems to have some medicinal value, I wouldn't hesitate to prescribe myself one of these before going to sleep on a cold winter's night.

Thanks to our illustrious leader in this month's tasty exercise, Mr. Fred Yarm not only for hosting the month, but for helping to keep the good ship MxMo afloat.

Dr. Luther

3 oz 3 Faces of Eve(Apple shrub)
1 oz Cruzan Black Strap Rum
1 tsp-.25 oz Velvet Falernum(to taste)
2-3 dashes Angostura bitters
4 oz boiling water
Squeeze of lime wedge(optional)

Heat water to boiling.

In the meantime, pre-warm heavy mug by filling with hot water. When boiling water is ready, dump pre-warming water from mug.

Combine shrub, rum, falernum, and Ango bitters in warmed mug. Pour 4 oz boiling water into mug and stir.


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