Mezcal, St-Germain elderflower liqueur, apple cider and apple soda make the Alfie’s Apple an autumnal quaffer, though one that’s a bright, crisp and aromatic pleasure all year long. New York City bartender and bar consultant Tad Carducci crafted the drink with some ingredients that might be a bit difficult to find at local shops: while fresh squeezed apple cider is easy enough to find in any grocery store or bodega, this drink additionally calls for Sidral Mundet, a century-old apple-flavored soda from Mexico.
Sidral Mundet can sometimes be found at Mexican markets. And, of course, these days it’s possible to find just about anything online, including Mexican apple sodas. However, if don’t want to pay for the shipping on a cocktail ingredient, you can replace it with something like the popular and widespread Martinelli’s or another sparkling apple cider. It won’t be the exact same thing as using Sidral Mundet, so check your local stores for it first.
In addition to the apple flavor, mezcal gives this highball a nice smoky finish. If smoke in your glass isn’t your thing, you can always choose to use a less smoky mezcal, or even swap it out for tequila. St-Germain raises the sweetness level and floral notes of the drink, and while it’s the most well-known and popular brand of elderflower liqueur, there are some alternatives including Drillaud Elderflower Liqueur and St. Elder Elderflower Liqueur.
Another area for customization is with the rim. Carducci rims his highball glass with a mix of Chinese five-spice powder and sugar for extra sweetness and spice. However, if you don’t like the flavor of it, or just don’t want to fuss with it, it’s fine to omit. If you do want to include it, the trick is to place a small amount of the powder on a flat plate and rub a wedge of lemon around the rim of the glass, making sure not to spill down the side. Then, gently roll the rim in the powder. The moisture helps the powder cling to the glass, and the result is a clean and evenly dusted rim.
- Chinese five-spice powder (optional)
- Sugar (optional)
- 1 ounce mezcal
- 1 ounce St-Germain
- 1 ounce fresh apple cider
- 1/2 ounce lemon juice, freshly squeezed
- 1/4 ounce honey syrup
- 3 dashes Peychaud’s Bitters
- 2 ounces Sidral Mundet (Mexican apple soda)
- Garnish: apple slice
If desired, combine equal parts five-spice powder and sugar, and use to coat the rim of a tall glass.
Fill the glass with ice and set aside.
Add the mezcal, St-Germain, lemon juice, honey syrup, apple cider and bitters to a shaker with ice and shake until well-chilled.
Double-strain into the prepared glass.
Top with the Sidral Mundet and stir gently.
Garnish with an apple slice.