Big Apple Cocktail Recipe, A Manhattan

Playing on another hallmark of the drink's namesake, Altier steers the Manhattan toward the apple orchard. A gelatin-enriched garnish beautifully bridges the classic and the contemporary.

Adapted from Marshall Altier, Jbird, New York City

Big Apple
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Make this Big Apple cocktail from Marshall Altier at Jbird in New York City.
Prep Time
Cook Time
Total time: 2 hours
  • “Apple” cherries
  • 2 ounces apple juice
  • 2 ounces Pommeau de Normandie
  • 2 ounces Carpano Antica Formula Vermouth
  • 2 ounces fresh lemon juice
  • 2 dashes Luxardo Maraschino liqueur
  • 4 sheets bloomed gelatin (leaf gelatin softened in cold water for 5 time)
  • Canola oil
  • Cocktail
  • Ice
  • 1½ ounces high-proof rye whiskey (such as Rittenhouse bonded)
  • ½ ounce high-proof apple brandy (such as Laird's bonded)
  • 1 ounce Carpano Antica Formula Vermouth
  • 1 dash The Bitter Truth Jerry Thomas' Own Decanter Bitters
  • 2 dashes Bar Keep Baked Apple bitters
  • 1 “apple” cherry
  1. Make the "apple" cherries: In a saucepan set over medium heat, combine the apple juice, Pommeau de Normandie, vermouth, lemon juice, Maraschino liqueur and softened gelatin until the gelatin is dissolved, about 1 minute.Pour the mixture into a squeeze bottle and cut the tip low enough that a large, cherry-size drop emerges when the bottle is squeezed. Refrigerate until the texture of the mixture thickens, about 1 hour.
  2. Fill a shallow container with canola oil and put it in the freezer until the oil is almost frozen, about 1 hour. Remove the oil from the freezer and squeeze cherry-size drops of the cold apple syrup into the oil solution. Strain the apple cherries through a fine-mesh sieve (save the oil for another use) and rinse under cold water. Transfer to a shallow bowl and refrigerate until needed.
  3. Make the cocktail: Fill a mixing glass or cocktail shaker with ice. Add the whiskey, apple brandy, vermouth and the bitters. Stir well, then strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with the apple cherry and serve.
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