Knock the dust off those bottles of apple brandy and Angostura with this bittersweet warm-up from the pros at Messhall in Los Angeles.
Don’t think of Angostura—which makes this drink pop with holiday spice—as a polarizing bitter. Yes, there’s some bite, but it also packs sweetness, herbal earthiness and mouthwatering acidity. Barkeeps call “Ango” a cure-all, because a few dashes weirdly punch up almost any off drink, whether it’s too sweet, too dull or even too bitter.
Not Without My Bitters
½ ounce apple brandy
¼ ounce Angostura bitters
1½ ounces Bacardi Reserva Superior 8 Años
¾ ounce lemon juice
¾ ounce honey
Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake and strain into an old-fashioned glass filled with ice, preferably a single large cube.