Harvest Cocktail Recipe

The Cocktail Society's Harvest Cocktail recipe. Learn how to make a Harvest Cocktail with our expert mixologists.
Harvest Cocktail by Autumn leaves

Method

Stir

Glass

Coupette or Martini

Category

Brandy

HARVEST COCKTAIL RECIPE INGREDIENTS

45ml Calvados
45ml Cardamaro amaro
2 Dashes Angostura Bitters

HOW TO MAKE A HARVEST COCKTAIL

Add all ingredients into a mixing glass.

Fill with ice, then stir until well chilled.

Strain into a chilled Coupe or Martini glass and garnish.

GARNISH

Luxardo maraschino cherry

TELL US ABOUT THE HARVEST COCKTAIL RECIPE

Harvest Cocktail Recipe

The Harvest Cocktail is a great drink as an aperitif or after-dinner digestif.

There are lots of drinks named Harvest Cocktail, but we favour this for the warm sweetness provided by the Calvados.

Described simply, Calvados is apple cider distilled into brandy.

Official records show the spirit being distilled as far back as 1553, though the exact origins are unknown.

Of course, there is a lot of complex work that goes into the production of this spirit. There are hundreds of different types of apples which can be used to make Calvados.

And of course, there are different styles of brandy such as Cognac and Armagnac.

Just like Cognac can only be produced in a certain region, and with specific ingredients, Calvados is made only in Normandy, France.

Normandy’s mild climate means there are more apple trees planted than in any other French region.

In the 1860s, increased seaside tourism, as well as better production methods, led to a rise in consumption of the apple brandy.

Once prohibition hit the United States in the 1920s, Calvados became a popular ingredient in many cocktails.

Ernest Hemingway famously described the Jack Rose cocktail in The Sun Also Rises.

What types of Calvados are there?

There are three appellation designations or classifications for Calvados with a set of rules for the production of the spirit.

Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée – or AOC – Calvados

Covering most of Normandy west of the city of Rouen AOC – Calvados is required to age for two years in oak casks before being sold.

AOC Calvados Pays d’Auge

Made in a small area in central Normandy, this Calvados must be double distilled and then aged for a minimum of two years.

AOC Calvados Domfrontais

Found along Normandy’s western border, these are required to contain at least 30% Perry pears. AOC Calvados Domfrontais are distilled in a continuous column still and aged for 3 years or more in oak casks.

The longer ageing process gives the spirit a smoother feel.

DID YOU KNOW?

Cider brandy is also produced in the UK.

Records of Somerset brandy date back to 1678, and in 2011 the spirit was rewarded with protected status.

EXPERT TIP

Try making the drink with different types of Calvados to see what flavours are brought out.

For example, the pear flavours and smooth texture of the AOC Calvados Domfrontais are a nice offset to the bitter Amaro.

WHAT TO DRINK NEXT

The Angel Face is a classic Calvados cocktail, appearing in Harry Craddock’s famous The Savoy Cocktail book, published in 1930. It features gin, apricot brandy and Calvados.

The apple and pear flavours found in Calvados make the Harvest Cocktail a perfect Autumn Cocktail, so why not try others like the Pear Sour or the Bramble?

Or you could try other cocktails which take their name from the Autumn Harvest.

Mixologist Ryan Fitzgerald’s English Harvest includes gin, and almond syrup alongside the apple brandy.

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