Friday, December 8, 2017

Applejack: America's Native Spirit

When you think of the quintessential American spirit, you probably think of Kentucky bourbon, right?  What if we told you that our Founding Fathers were imbibing a spirit sourced further North long before the stills were running in the South?

The native spirit of the Red, White and Blue is actually applejack; a delicious distilled beverage made from, you guessed it, apples! POTUS #1, George Washington, was so enamored with the apple cider hued liquor that his men often gifted him bottles of spirit. Legend has it that our nation’s first distillery, Laird and Co. (continuously operating since 1780) gave Washington the recipe so he could make his own.

Applejack is a spirit fermented from regular orchard apples which are pressed whole, their juice distilled, and then aged in American Oak barrels (not unlike their bourbon kin). It can run the gamut from light-bodied to slightly viscous and has notes of fall spices, vanilla, clove and of, course, apple!

So, what happened to this beloved spirit enjoyed by great American Presidents and authors alike (Hemingway wrote about it in The Sun Also Rises)?  Well, as is the case in most businesses, it became a question of scalability.  As grain-based spirits took off and became more economical to produce, the labor and source-intensive applejack fell out of favor among our country’s distillers.

Luckily, the spirit’s flagship producer, Laird and Co., still cranks out the good stuff as well as a small but proud collective of craft distillers like Arkansas Black.  In fact, for a limited time, we have partnered with Shaker and Spoon to offer you a 15% discount on bottles of Arkansas Black’s Straight Applejack when you use the promo code “AppleShaker” at checkout.

It’s perfect for these cold December evenings where you can enjoy it straight or on the rocks; served hot and mixed in with your favorite apple cider; or try this excellent recipe from Shaker and Spoon: the Applejack of My Eye!

We hope learning about our country’s founding spirit inspires you to make it part of your winter imbibing. As always, if you want to learn more about applejack or any of the other great wines and spirits that the Bounty Hunter offers, reach out to a Wine Scout!

Happy Holidays from the Bounty Hunter!