Courtesy Toby Maloney, founding bartender, Violet Hour, Chicago
This Manhattan variation is just right for toasting fall and the 10th anniversary of a beloved Chicago cocktail bar, Violet Hour. The drink features a base split between apple brandy and Bourbon. It’s mellowed by the plum flavors of sweet vermouth, the rich sweetness of walnut liqueur and plenty of spice from a double dose of bitters.
Calvados is Normandy’s signature apple brandy is wonderful to sip as the leaves start to fall. Layers of fruit, vanilla and spice evoke apple strudel, tarte Tatin and gingerbread, which makes it an ideal dessert pairing. Producers to look for include Boulard, Christian Drouin and Lecompte.
- ¼ ounce Nux Alpina Walnut Liqueur, to rinse glass
- 1 ounce Bourbon, preferably Bulleit
- 1 ounce Calvados
- 1 ounce Carpano Antica sweet vermouth
- ¼ ounce Demerara syrup*
- 13 drops Angostura bitters
- 13 drops Angostura orange bitters
Pour walnut liqueur into rocks glass. Rotate glass to coat, and pour out. Set glass aside.
In mixing glass, combine remaining ingredients with ice. Stir to chill. Strain into prepared glass over fresh ice.
Demerara syrup can be purchased (like Royal Rose Natural Cocktail Syrup). You can also make it using equal parts Demerara or turbinado sugar and water, stirred over medium heat until the sugar dissolves.