Everybody's in a lather about pumpkin-spice/pumpkin-flavored things. We like actual pumpkin quite a lot, both savory and sweet. And we'll even entertain a pumpkin-infused coffee beverage now and then because, why not? We got nothing to prove.
However, there's more than one "flavor of autumn" and tasty fresh apples are part of that array. Fall is also a time for bourbon. So if pumpkin can be attached to all manner of food and drink in the name of seasonal spirit, why not apple?
Thus, we created a new cocktail that everyone at The Typing Monkey office has been enjoying. We're calling it Betty's Little Helper, in reference to and reverence for both Ms. Crocker and apple brown betty. Here's the recipe so you can mix one up for yourself:
Betty's Little Helper
1.5 oz bourbon
1.5 oz spiced apple cider, chilled
Club soda, chilled
In a 6 to 8 ounce tumbler, pour the bourbon and cider in together, then top it off with club soda. Don't bother with a top-shelf whisky. Buffalo Trace was what we had, and it's good for blending. Any mid-level sipper does the trick.
You'll want to go nuts with the cider though and get something quality. R.W. Knudsen Cider & Spice* is our favorite, as it's 100 percent juice and isn't overly sweet. The spice levels in Knudsen's brew are well balanced too -- a glass of the juice on its own tastes like a slice of homemade apple pie.
We put the bourbon in the freezer for an hour to make sure it was corpse-cold, but that's a personal preference. The club soda dials down the bourbon's bite and relaxes the cider's sweetness. Plus, the bubbles tickle our nose.
If fancy is your goal, add a cinnamon stick for garnish. And though we haven't tried it, a splash of Tuaca would make a Betty's Little Helper a la Mode. Scumps!
*Knudsen's label says their cider is "Prepared in the New England Tradition." We don't know what that entails so we'll just imagine it involves barrel presses and John Forsythe standing around in a sweater-vest, flirting with Shirley MacLaine.