Calvados – the barrel-aged apple and pear brandy from the French Normandy region has always been a classic ingredient in the history of bar culture, but it has recently lost some of its popularity. Like Cognac, Calvados has gained the reputation of being a little outdated what is definitely the wrong way of looking at this particular type of spirit. At least it absolutely meets my personal taste regardless of what some people might think.
Recently I have posted an article about the Daron Pay d’Auge Calvados varieties where I have gone a little more into detail concerning the manufacturing process of Calvados. Who is also familiar with Scheibels Moor-Birne might have noticed that they have certainly something in common: they’re both barrel-aged fruit brandies and they both have pears as a base (for the Moor-Birne even dried pears were added before the maturation process). Considering these facts, I did not have to think long about today’s cocktail and the idea to marry them inside a drink came pretty fast. And I did not want to add any juices, infusions or other tam-tam to it but simply create a good and honest Old Fashioned-style drink that will leave the two spirits almost on their own.
But nonetheless I was looking for a few small accents and so I quickly thought about how to enhance the interplay of the older Daron Calvados XO (which seemed more appropriate to me than the Daron Fine) with Scheibels Moor-Birne and to push it on a more elegant and sophisticated level. First I decided to omit the classic sugar and to use American maple syrup instead. The sweet and condimental taste of maple syrup just fits superbly and emphasizes the late summery or autumnal character of the cocktail. A little depth should also be there and so I chose to add a bar spoon of 12 year-old Bowmore. Bowmore is a typical Islay whisky but is not as smoky as some of its close neighbors. And if you should be afraid of smoky drinks, you don’t have to bother: The small amount of Bowmore only highlights the very subtle “moory” character of the Moor-Birne and simply adds some extra complexity. A Dash of Peychaud Bitters rounds off the drink. I’ve baptized this Old Fashioned cocktail “The Old Orchard”, what simply describes its character quite aptly, as I think.
4.5 cl Daron Calvados XO
2 cl Scheibel Moor-Birne
1 bar spoon Bowmore 12 YO
1.5 bar spoon of maple syrup
1 Dash Peychaud Bitters
Preparation: The drink is built inside the glass. Simply add all ingredients over fresh ice cubes and give it a stir.
Glass: Old Fashioned / Tumbler
Garnish: dried slice of apple or pear
Buying sources: At specialized retailers or online.