Fall Appletini Festival

A friend was going on about the joys of appletinis a couple weekends ago when we went to the Bardstown Ky Bourbon Festival, so I decided to pick up a bottle of Apple Pucker (which is just a quasi sour apple-flavored schnapps) and try a theme and a few variations.

On the first one, I just winged it: some of the Sobieski vodka that I reviewed yesterday, with apple pucker 2 to 1, and a little lime juice. Good, but the lime juice, even though I used only half an ounce or so, made it a tad tart.

Second try was straight vodka and apple pucker, 2 to 1 again. Better than version no. 1, but a little bland and uninteresting.

Third try: version 2 with a splash of apple cider (from WalMart, but not bad as WalMart produce goes - and I rarely buy WalMart produce, or anything else not in a can or a box). This one worked better for me: the cider spiked the apple flavor, but I still got the sour apple from the pucker.

Version no. 4 was the recipe from my calendar for this weekend, and I didn't know the recipe was going to be for appletinis until after I started mixing these. Vodka (still Sobieski), pucker, lemon juice this time, and butterscotch schnapps. My friend was extolling his version made with Buttershots (which I didn't see in my local liqueur mart), but schnapps works just as well. I liked this one best. I'm a big butterscotch fan anyway, and it brings a nice sweetness to the drink. I'd skip the lemon juice; again, I don't think you need the tartness. Maybe a splash of the cider would make this one even better, or a sprinkle of cinnamon or allspice.

Version no. 5 was off the internet: raspberry vodka with apple pucker. Interesting, but just that. I wouldn't call this an appletini. Like my second attempt, it was bland and uninteresting.

Last, another version off the internet, your basic recipe but with a splash of cointreau instead of citrus. Maybe I should have used half a splash, but the cointreau overwhelms this one; I could hardly taste the apple pucker.

So, summing up, the best version was the one with vodka, apple pucker, lemon (if you want), and butterscotch schnapps. A good fall drink.