This summer, we’re rediscovering one of the native spirits of the USA: Apple brandy. Distilled from apples, then aged in barrels, it’s similar in weight and sweetness to a bourbon, but with an unmistakable orchard flavor. (Blend that apple brandy with neutral grain spirits, and you’ve got applejack. Both are worth seeking out.)
Several brands have released some version of applejack or apple brandy in the last few years. But as far as American spirits go, Laird & Company creates our favorite of them all. The oldest family-owned commercial distillery in the US (dating back to 1780) the Jersey-based outfit holds America’s very first distilling license.
They bottle a fabulous applejack — but if you’re really looking for a flavor hit, opt for their 100-proof Straight Apple Brandy, distilled from apples and absolutely nothing else. Bright, dynamic, and full of flavor, it’s ideal for when you’re after a drink with the heft of a whiskey cocktail, but one that’s vibrant enough for the summer. Give it a whirl in one of these three new cocktails.