The Apple Martini or, as it’s more popularly known, the Appletini, is a divisive drink. While it’s generally found as a cloying cocktail made with artificial flavors, there have been many attempts to improve on the basic idea. But bar veteran Aisha Sharpe took a different approach with her version, and the Apple Fool’s Martini is akin to fool’s gold—just like how the gold-hued metal has no actual gold in it, this light green concoction lacks any actual apple. But its color, crisp flavors and gentle fruitiness bely that fact, and can potentially fool a drinker if they don’t know any better.
The Apple Fool’s Martini gets some of its signature verdant hue from basil muddled with simple syrup. These peppery leaves also give the drink a brightness and slight vegetal quality that lingers with each sip. To build on that, the base spirit is a blanco tequila; Sharpe used Don Julio for the recipe, but any good quality un-aged tequila should do the trick.
To add even more green color, and to up the savory herbaceous qualities of the drink, it gets a half ounce of Green Chartreuse—this deeply botanical spirit is also a key ingredient in classics like the Last Word and the Bijou. If you want to splurge on a bottle for the Apple Fool’s Martini, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to use it elsewhere.
For acid and a touch of sweetness, the drink gets both lime juice and ruby red grapefruit juice. Of course, if you use a paler grapefruit, like a yellow one, the drink will be a more green and less reddish, which harkens to its name. In any case, it leads to a drink that, while perhaps dishonestly named, is reminiscent of, and improves on, the Appletini.
- 3/4 ounce simple syrup
- 5 fresh basil leaves
- 1 1/2 ounces Don Julio blanco tequila
- 1/2 ounces Green Chartreuse
- 1 ounce ruby red grapefruit juice, freshly squeezed
- 3/4 ounce lime juice, freshly squeezed
- Garnish: thin apple slice (optional)
- Garnish: maraschino cherry (optional)
In a shaker, muddle the simple syrup and basil.
Add the blanco tequila, Green Chartreuse, ruby red grapefruit juice and lime juice into the shaker, fill with ice, and shake until well-chilled.
Double-strain into a chilled Martini glass or coupe.
Garnish with a thin apple slice or a maraschino cherry.