We’re heading into the last week of September, loyal Boozers, and that means that the Hunt for Late October is on. In other words, a handful of baseball teams are vying to make it into the playoffs, and Red Sox fans can’t believe their team is now fighting to maintain Wild Card status. Damn Yankees.
Hence, our Friday Tipple: The Wild Card. Because we’re still in love with Catoctin Creek’s Rye Whiskey (they really made us believers) and because we may need a stiff drink to get through the last few games, we’ve opted to riff on the Whiskey Sour, with a classic fall twist. On the side, we’re adding a shot of beer (we’re going for Dogfish Head’s Punkin Ale) for every home run by our favorite team. But don’t worry — if you happen to be an Astros fan, you probably won’t even catch a buzz.
The Wild Card
This cocktail has a few fresh elements, but they are worth the effort and don’t take a lot of time.
2 ounces rye whiskey (we like Catoctin Creek)
Fresh apple cider (we made ours fresh inspired by a recipe from Imbibe Magazine, but you can use commercial cider too)
Chilled club soda
Put three or four ice cubes in a cocktail shaker and add rye whiskey, 1/4 cup of fresh cider, and a teaspoon of Crackerjack Syrup. Shake vigorously and pour into a glass (with or without ice, it’s up to you). Top with a splash of club soda and a dash of bitters. Enjoy!
To make fresh apple cider: cut an apple into chunks and process into a fine pulp in a food processor with a few teaspoons of water and a dash of cinnamon or apple pie spice. Let sit for half an hour then squeeze pulp through a cheesecloth. Yields about half a cup.
To make Crackerjack Syrup: Set one cup of raw turbinado sugar in a small saucepan over low heat. Stir constantly until sugar liquifies, being careful not to let it burn. Add 1 cup of water slowly and stir. Cut corn kernels off a cob, scraping the cob with the edge of the knife and put all kernels into the sugar syrup. Add a large pinch of salt and allow to simmer over low heat for 30 minutes. Strain and cool completely. Yields about a cup; can be stored in the refrigerator for up to three months.