Metro New York Mixology

There is a chill in the air and if a recent trip to Hudson, NY is any indication, there is going to be a change in the seasons. by Warren Bobrow

You can tell by looking at the colors that say fall. Apples are bursting from the trees, fat with lip smacking sugar and dripping with juice. These apples are begging for a pie or your cocktail glass. They call for slow cooking with caramel and flaky crusts or woven into bone warming punches, elixirs for the mind and the soul.

I just love apples in cocktails. They work with bourbon or rye whiskey equally well, the rye being a bit drier and “saltier” the bourbon a bit sweeter, but no less spirituous. Sparkling apple ciders or apple brandies are products that are as old as our nation. They deserve a place at your table and in your glass- even in your mug!

The first time that I tasted mulled apple cider it had a bit of a kick from the addition of Laird’s Apple Brandy. Laird’s practically invented the art of distillation in the United States using apples, although the basic premise for apple brandy came from England, France and Germany. Immigration created the impetus to make alcoholic beverages from locally produced ingredients. Apples are an important cash crop in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeastern states.

I love the snap of flavor when you open a bottle of fermented sparkling apple cider. It doesn’t have to be alcoholic, but for my purposes it wouldn’t hurt! Sparkling Apple Cider is HOT insofar as trends go, but this refreshing beverage is anything from new!

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Farnum Hill in New Hampshire has revitalized the age-old art of making gently sparkling apple cider to a high art form. They make cider in the old English way with natural yeasts and the use of large bottles that seem to encourage sharing with friends. I’m a big fan of their products.

Privateer Rum is carefully distilled on the north shore of Massachusetts is my choice for rum in this somewhat seasonal, pleasurable slurp. They take time to age their rum in barrels that formerly rested a variety of spirits; each has its own terroir and qualities. It’s not inexpensive rum, but most anything that is handcrafted is more expensive to produce. It is quality in every sip and I seem to be attracted to the process of making Privateer Rum because of this attention to detail.

In keeping with the flavors of the season and with my palate moving closer to the wintertime, I’m encouraged to use products that resonate within my body along with my mind. Plus, it will be frosty soon enough, so doesn’t it make sense to keep warm in your heart as well as fill your belly sufficiently with good cheer?

It absolutely does.

Back in the days before central heating made being below deck more uncomfortable, while toiling on ships, sailors did everything they could to keep warm when below deck on these vessels. Rum certainly played a major role into their everyday life along with applejack made from fermented and distilled apples.

With the changing of the seasons, drinking beverages that speak to inner warmth is very kind indeed

There is No Disguise…

There is No Disguise is an unlikely name for a delicious combination of Farnum Hill Cider, Privateer Rum, Laird’s Apple Brandy and a pinch of curry powder. This cocktail speaks clearly of the fall with a hint of the exotic and mysterious curry powder. The slight fizz from the sparkling cider will more than please your tummy and fill your mind with possibilities. You might get a nice little buzz as well!


  1. 4 oz. Farnum Hill Sparkling Cider
  2. 1 oz. Privateer Rum
  3. 1 oz. Laird’s Apple Brandy
  4. pinch of curry powder


  1. Fill a Collins glass with a spear of hand cut ice
  2. Add both the rum and the apple brandy
  3. Top with the sparkling cider
  4. Add a pinch of curry powder
  5. Stir and serve!

This may have ice, yet it is quite warming indeed! 

Warren Bobrow is a barman/author. He’s written for Whole Foods, Foodista, and Williams-Sonoma along with three books on mixology.  Warren appeared in the Saveur 100.