The Spiced Apple Fizz is an original cocktail from all-star bartender Naren Young, best known for his work at Dante in New York. It features bison grass vodka, pear brandy, hard apple cider, fresh lemon juice and honey syrup, bringing a lighter touch to traditional autumn flavors.
Bison grass vodka, or Żubrówka, is a spirit that has been distilled in Poland since the 16th century. The name comes from the bison herds (known as Zubr) that graze the grass in Poland’s Bialowieza forest, and over the years it became a favorite drink of Polish royalty. The decidedly not-neutral vodka contains flavors of almond, vanilla, coconut and fresh cut grass, and is often consumed neat or mixed with club soda or apple juice.
Young uses the punchy vodka as the foundation of the cocktail, complementing it with a measure of pear brandy. The two spirits lay down a solid base for the rich honey syrup and tart lemon juice, while the hard apple cider lends additional flavor and proof, lengthening and rounding the drink.
Garnish with an apple fan and freshly grated cinnamon, and you have an autumnal cocktail fit for Polish royalty. But, don’t worry: It will also please your non-royal friends.
- 1 1/2 ounces ZU bison grass vodka
- 1/2 ounces Poire Williams pear brandy
- 1/2 ounce lemon juice, freshly squeezed
- 1/2 ounce honey syrup
- Hard apple cider, to top
- Garnish: apple slice fan
- Garnish: cinnamon, freshly grated
Add the vodka, pear brandy, lemon juice and honey syrup to a cocktail shaker with ice and shake until well-chilled.
Strain into a highball glass over fresh ice.
Top with hard apple cider and garnish with an apple slice fan and freshly grated cinnamon.
Apple Slice Fan
Stand an apple upright, and cut a chunk from the side, being careful to avoid the core and seeds. Lie the apple chunk face down, then halve it so that the apple flesh is exposed. Cut four thin slices from the exposed side. Place the apple pieces together, pierce them with a cocktail pick about one third of the way from the bottom. Then fan them out and place in your drink, resting the cocktail pick on the rim of the glass.