This holiday recipe actually started on a warm July day last year. The girls in my family were celebrating my cousin Amanda's birthday at the Oxford Exchange in Tampa (love that place!). At the time, I was in the middle of working on my first holiday menu for Gluten-Free Living Magazine. And while the menu was really starting to take shape, I was totally stumped on cocktail ideas. To be honest, the only drink I could ever remember my family serving for Thanksgiving or Christmas was sangria. And even though my grandfather claimed it was a secret recipe, if you ever watched him make it you knew it was a different (delicious) concoction every time...
So I decided to get some opinions from the girls. I told them I wanted to do something fun. I was thinking sweet and maybe in a martini glass. Amanda immediately screamed "Apple Pie Martini!" WHOA. WHAT? YES. It was perfect! Who doesn't love apple pie?? I went home and started brainstorming on how I could get big apple pie flavor in a chilled martini glass. Then I brought in my secret weapon... my husband. Patrick is a very, very good cocktail maker. In fact, most of my drink recipes are a collaboration between the two of us. And don't worry, we keep testing until each recipe is perfect. Even if we have to taste-test three or four times. I know, it's a tough job really.... Trust me, you'll really enjoy this one. Thank you Amanda. Cheers everyone!
[Gluten-Free] Apple Pie Martini
Talk about a great conversation starter! All the comforting holiday flavors of apple pie packed into an adorable little cocktail. Toasting to the holidays has never tasted so good!
Makes 4 drinks
¾ cup vanilla vodka
1 ½ cups apple cider
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup water
1 cinnamon stick
For the glasses:
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
½ teaspoon cinnamon
2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 Granny Smith apple, for garnish
1 Red Delicious apple, for garnish
In a small saucepan, combine 1/3 cup sugar and 1/3 cup water. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Turn off the heat and add the cinnamon stick. Let it steep for 5 minutes. Remove cinnamon stick and set sugar syrup aside to cool.
In a small bowl, mix together 2 tablespoons sugar and ½ teaspoon cinnamon. Spread out evenly over a small plate. Pour lemon juice on to another small plate. Dip the rim of each martini glass first into the lemon juice and then into the cinnamon sugar. Set aside to dry.
In a pitcher, combine vanilla vodka, apple cider, and cooled sugar syrup. Fill a martini shaker with ice and add half of the cocktail mixture. Shake for 30 seconds until very cold. Pour into 2 sugar-rimmed martini glasses. Repeat with the remaining cocktail mixture.
Use a melon baller to scoop 4 balls from each of the apples. Dip each apple ball into the lemon juice (to keep from browning). Use a toothpick to skewer 2 apple balls, one of each color. Garnish each martini with an apple skewer. Serve cold. Enjoy!
Lauren Marie’s Make-Ahead Tip:
*Mix this tasty cocktail the night before your big party and keep it in the fridge until ready to shake and serve!
recipe courtesy: laurenmarieglutenfree.com
photos by Angela Sackett
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