At the restaurant, we make this refreshing pre-dinner cocktail with a homemade apple shrub (if you fancy giving it a go yourself, the recipe at the bottom), but the combination of apple juice and cider vinegar makes a more than adequate quick replacement.
25ml good vodka – being an Irish-influenced restaurant, we use Dingle
25ml Cointreau (or another orange liqueur)
25ml cloudy apple juice (or apple shrub, see below)
5ml apple cider vinegar (or apple shrub, see below)
1 long, thin apple wedge, to garnish
First, chill a martini glass. Put the vodka, Cointreau, apple juice and cider vinegar into a shaker, add a big handful of ice and hard shake for 10 seconds. Double strain into the chilled glass, add the apple wedge, perching it half in and half out of the drink, and serve.
DIY cox’s orange pippin shrub
If you want to go a step further, and take the cocktail to the next level, replace the apple juice and vinegar with an equal amount of homemade apple shrub. At the restaurant, we use seasonal Irish apples throughout the year, and the great thing about shrubs is that you can experiment with different apples and sugars to create your signature flavourDepending on how sweet your apples are, for example, you might want to go lighter on the sugar; and while we usually make our shrubs with regular caster sugar, brown sugar adds caramel tones, while demerara lends the shrub a flavour reminiscent of apple pie.
190g grated apple – cox’s orange pippin, for preference
150g caster sugar
240ml apple cider vinegar
Put the grated apples, sugar and vinegar in a sterilised glass jar, seal and shake to combine. Put the jar in the fridge and leave it for two to three days, then pour through a sieve into a bowl, squeezing out any liquid from the apple pulp. Pour the liquid into a second sterilised glass jar, seal and return to the fridge, where it should keep for a good six months.