Aquavit's Apple Picking-Inspired Cocktail Comes with a Seasonal Side of Pork Belly

The pandemic canceled a lot of things this year, and forced us to accept alternatives, like Zoom concerts, fancy sweatpants and no holiday dinners. So even though we weren't able to go apple picking this fall, we're pretty happy with the alternative if it's this apple cocktail from New York City’s Aquavit. “Apple picking is a longstanding fall tradition in upstate New York that we wanted to celebrate,” says beverage director Chris Clark. “It embodies a sense of escape from the city life and a celebration of rural exploration.”

In his Upstate Picking cocktail, the flavors of fresh apples, cedar, and warming spices are conjured via housemade cedar aquavit (made by compressing fresh cedar chips with rye distillate), apple shrub (made with Normandy apple cider vinegar, sugar, honey, star anise, black pepper, and shaved honey crisp apple), apple syrup, and lemon juice, combined and given a hard shake with ice. On the side is a skewer of torched-to-order thick-cut pork belly and a melon ball of fresh apple. “It’s to be used as a stirrer to add a bit of fattiness to an otherwise acid-driven drink...or is just a good snack,” says Clark. If we can't sink our teeth into our freshly picked finds in the orchards, this drink will suffice.

Liz Grossman is the managing editor of Plate. 



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