À La Mode

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Cocktail History

The À La Mode is a whiskey cocktail that was created by bartender Karin Stanley at Dutch Kills in New York City, New York. It is reminiscent of the dessert for which it’s named: pie à la mode, which translates literally to “fashionable pie” and consists of a piece of pie served with vanilla ice cream. The drink recreates this delicious combination with several ingredients, the most noteworthy being Licor 43—a unique Spanish liqueur that adds vanilla to the mix.

Cocktail Ingredients

To make this cocktail, you’ll need the following ingredients:

Bourbon: This is the base spirit. We used Cedar Ridge Distillery’s Single Barrel Bourbon because it’s a high-proof spirit great for cocktails that don’t use many other alcoholic ingredients.

Licor 43: This is a Spanish liqueur. It adds spice, herb, root, and citrus flavors, forty-three of which are said to be used when the liqueur is made, hence its name.

Apple Cider: This gives the drink its sweetened apple and spice flavor. We prefer to use freshly-pressed apple cider available from a local orchard and not the bottled stuff because those tend to taste too sour no matter what brand you get.

Heavy Cream: This is used to make the homemade whipped cream that goes on top.

Demerara Syrup: This is whipped with the heavy cream to add more flavor. We made ours at home using Alex’s recipe.

Grated Nutmeg: This is the garnish. It’s sprinkled on top of the homemade whipped cream to add a hint of flavor and spiced aroma.

Tasting Notes

The À La Mode features nutmeg aromas and a mouthful of cool, sweet whipped cream that immediately precedes the sharp cinnamon flavor of hot apple cider. The cider’s taste is then accented with bourbon’s bite plus the vanilla and baking spice note of Licor 43, which is most prominent in the aftertaste and leaves behind a dessert-like quality in the throat.

Our Opinion of This Cocktail Recipe: We both thought the drink was incredible with its combination of sweet apple, tingling baking spices, and cooling vanilla. It’s truly a fabulous alternative to dessert, especially since it avoids the all-too-common trend of dessert drinks being heavy and cream-based.

Alex’s Take: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
“As I figured it would be, this drink was delicious and gave us a nice chance to use our bottle of Licor 43. The liqueur gives the drink a slight vanilla note, which sets it apart from any other ciders, especially with the cask-strength bourbon we used giving it some effervescence and backbone. The homemade whipped cream turned out great too thanks to the Demerara syrup! This is definitely one that I would make again.”

Kendall’s Take: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
“We experienced a couple of firsts when making this recipe: our first hot apple cider cocktail and our first time making homemade whipped cream. Although somewhat of a labor of love to make compared to shaken or stirred cocktails, this is a boozy apple cider that should absolutely be on your list of drinks to try in the fall or winter when fresh apple cider is still available from local orchards. The bourbon, Liquor 43, and cider are a delicious mixture, and the whipped cream and nutmeg combo on top takes it to a divine new level.”

Recipe

This cocktail recipe was adapted from Winter Drinks: 70 Essential Cold-Weather Cocktails by the editors of PUNCH.

AuthorWinter DrinksPrep Time15 minsRating

Ingredients
 2 oz Bourbon
 ½ oz Licor 43
 5 oz Apple Cider
 2 oz Heavy Cream
 ¼ oz Homemade Demerara Syrup
 Grated Nutmeg

Method
1

Add heavy cream, Demerara syrup, and the coil of a Hawthorne strainer to a shaker.

2

Shake for 10-15 seconds to make whipped cream.

3

Add bourbon, apple cider, and Liquor 43 to a saucepan.

4

Heat for 8-10 minutes until steaming.

5

Pour into a mug.

6

Garnish with whipped cream and grated nutmeg.

Ingredients

Ingredients
 2 oz Bourbon
 ½ oz Licor 43
 5 oz Apple Cider
 2 oz Heavy Cream
 ¼ oz Homemade Demerara Syrup
 Grated Nutmeg

Directions

Method
1

Add heavy cream, Demerara syrup, and the coil of a Hawthorne strainer to a shaker.

2

Shake for 10-15 seconds to make whipped cream.

3

Add bourbon, apple cider, and Liquor 43 to a saucepan.

4

Heat for 8-10 minutes until steaming.

5

Pour into a mug.

6

Garnish with whipped cream and grated nutmeg.

À La Mode

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More Apple Cider Cocktails

If you like this apple cider cocktail recipe, here are a few others we’ve tried that you may enjoy:

Stone Fence: A bourbon cocktail made with apple cider, Angostura Aromatic bitters, and mint

Mott & Mulberry: A rye cocktail made with Luxardo Amaro Abano, apple cider, lemon juice, Demerara syrup, and apple slices

Flannel Shirt: A Scotch cocktail made with apple cider, Amaro Averna, lemon juice, simple syrup, St. Elizabeth’s Allspice Dram, Angostura Aromatic Bitters, and an orange peel

Spiced Pumpkin Punch: A gin cocktail made with apple cider, pumpkin purée, honey syrup, lemon juice, pumpkin pie spice, and cinnamon sticks

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