With apple season in full force, and the weather kicking its final throws of Indian Summer, the cold weather cocktail season officially begins. At Presidio Social Club, bar manager Tim Stookey is adding two new drinks to the line up designed to unfog our lenses for a bit.
The fall leaf red Picante Pisco Punch ($10, pisco, lemon, lime, pineapple, rocoto pepper syrup) braces against the cold with the slow building and warming heat of Peruvian rocoto peppers that use the pisco punch as the delicious delivery system. The warming glow quickly turns to light sweat, but thankfully keeps the heat at a low simmer rather than a full boil.
For me, sometimes simpler is better and it's Stookey's the Apple Brandy Sour ($12, Calvados brandy, lemon, maple syrup) that seemed the most prepared to defend against the cold and damp Presidio air. The light dusting of grated nutmeg on top added just enough spice without dampening the juicy apple taste of the drink.
Based on a "calvados cocktail variation" from the Savoy Cocktail book, the drink may be a variation of a variation, but the fine-tuning is what makes it so spectacular.
"To me it is reminiscent of baked apples and just screams fall," said Stookey.
Apple Brandy Sour
1 ½ oz. Calvados or aged apple brandy
¾ oz. Lemon juice
½ oz. Maple syrup
Shake all ingredients with ice and strain into a cocktail (martini) glass. Garnish with freshly ground nutmeg.
Presidio Social Club, 563 Ruger (at Lombard), just inside the Lombard Gate. 885-1888