The Apple Martini (aka the Appletini) has nothing to do with a Martini (aside from the glass in which it is traditionally served). It is commonly made with a combination of sour mix, cheap, nearly clear apple juice (which is mostly sugar) and Apple Pucker, the liqueur that gives the drink its signature antifreeze color. Invented in the late '90s at Lola’s in West Hollywood, the cocktail was originally called Adam’s Apple Martini (after one of Lola’s bartenders). At the time, even one of its creators didn’t think it was a good drink. Loren Dunsworth, Lola’s owner, called it a “horrible Martini.” But it sold and caught on like very green wildfire. If you’re willing to forgo the neon green hue, try our recipe. We think it is a great interpretation of what the Appletini could have been. Over the years, though, bartenders have seen the potential within the Appletini, and started making the drink with real apple juice and quality spirits. The resulting cocktail is, admittedly, much less colorful, but also crisp, bright and deliciously boozy. Our recipe calls for fresh lemon juice, fresh apple juice (use Granny Smith apple juice if you want to preserve a hint of green), vodka, apple liqueur and just a whisper of simple syrup to tie everything together. We think it is a great interpretation of what the Appletini could have been. It’s something you can drink without feeling any shame, while still getting your fruity ‘tini fix.
Mix it Up
To class up the Appletini even more (if such a thing is even possible) try substituting the apple liqueur with apple brandy (either Laird’s Straight Apple Brandy or Clear Creek Reserve Apple Brandy would be a great pick) or Calvados.
Recommended Vodka: Tito’s, Smirnoff, Stolichanaya, Wodka
This all-but-forgotten Prohibition classic is made with applejack (or Calvados), fresh lime juice and grenadine (good quality grenadine), which sweetens the drink and gives it a rosy hue. As with many older cocktails, the Jack Rose’s origins are murky, though it was most likely invented in New Jersey, by either bartender Frank J. May or restaurat...