Friday drinks: Persephone

Happy Friday! This week we have a rich apple cocktail named for the queen of the underworld, Persephone.

The persephone mixed by Jeff Stewart. Photo by Jeff Stewart.

The Persephone mixed by Jeff Stewart. Photo by Jeff Stewart.

The Persephone cocktail is as seductive as its namesake, whose beauty was so beguiling that Hades, the king of the underworld, abducted her and took her as his queen. And trust me, this is a beauty of a drink. When our mixologist, music video and commercial director Jeff Stewart, served up the cocktail, I was first taken by the fruity aroma. This inviting scent primarily comes from the applejack, a spirit made from distilling apples. Apple aroma led to a lovely spicy apple taste. But the drink is so much more than just apples. The cocktail packs a wonderful, tart fruity flavor with sloe gin.

Made from sloe or blackthorn drupes (think a fruit the size of a plum), sloe gin has a concentrated berry taste. Mix in the grape of red vermouth and the citrus of fresh lemon and the Persephone becomes this complex, yet smooth cocktail. It’s a nicely balanced drink that’s not too tart or sweet.

Most Internet sources credit David Slape and his book, “The PDT Cocktail Book: The Complete Bartender’s Guide from the Celebrated Speakeasy,” with the Persephone. Like David, Jeff recommends Dolin red vermouth and Plymouth sloe gin. However, Jeff suggests Laird’s 100 proof apple brandy, which makes the drink less sweet.

Wanna try Jeff’s recipe? Here it is.

1 oz. applejack
3/4 oz. red vermouth
1/2 oz. sloe gin
1/2 oz. lemon juice
1/4 oz. simple syrup

Shake in an iced cocktail shaker for 25-30 seconds and serve in a cocktail glass.

Keep your glass half-full. Drink responsibly.