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Signature Drink: The Golden Apple of Discord

Erik Tennyson has been helping to shape the cocktail program at Upstairs bar and Lounge at the W Hotel San Francisco since 2004. He takes to bartending with a historian’s zeal, often using ingredients that have been lost to time and rediscovering them through modern mixology.


“I enjoy resurrecting dead spirits,” he says, referring to applejack, an apple-based distillate, which fell out of popularity in the second half the 20th century. “Originally the spirit was created by 'jacking' or freeze distilling," explains Tennyson. This was done by leaving fermented apple cider in the cold and then removing the ice as the water separated from the alcohol and froze. What was left was a strongly condensed distillate.


“Laird's Applejack, the one used in the Golden Apple of Discord, actually received the first license to distil spirits in the U.S. back in 1780,” says Tennyson."There are even records of George Washington writing to Mr. Laird about the spirit."


"I start with some Laird's Applejack, fresh pressed apple juice, a little lime for some brightening acidity, an egg white for some creamy texture, nutmeg to give it a little spice--and just a tiny bit of caramel syrup that kind of sits elusively on the finish, almost like an old memory of a caramel apple tasted after some childhood Christmas dinner.”


Golden Apple of Discord


1.5 oz Apple Jack

2 oz Apple Juice
.5 oz Lime
1 oz egg white
.5 oz Caramel Syrup
Shaved Nutmeg Garnish


Dry shake for 30 seconds, add ice, shake till cold.




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