In a blustery election year, it pays to remember the one topic that never fails to unite Americans: the homespun glory of apple pie, topped with ice cream or a slice of sharp cheddar cheese. Or, in the case of CaskWerks Distilling Company’s Apple Pie Liqueur, presented in the guise of a high-proof liqueur. Head distiller John Miller spent seven years refining the recipe after first tasting it in the kitchen of a friend’s mother. “She’d make a cordial-style [liqueur], made in a pot in the kitchen,” Miller says.
The process itself is surprisingly simple: Miller steeps neutral grain spirit from the distillery with fresh juice from California apples, cassia cinnamon, honey and sugar. Then he strains and dilutes the elixir to CaskWerks’ desired strength.
Founded last year by Jimmy Eat World bassist Rick Burch, CaskWerks also distills and bottles a much-admired gin, and is in the process of rolling out a whiskey made from local wheat. In traditional apple-pie-lover fashion, brand ambassador Travis Nass likes his Apple Pie Liqueur ($25) with a splash of bourbon, but calls the the product “versatile,” using it like an apple spice vodka or Applejack brandy. Read: It’s great in tea.
Find a bottle at the CaskWerks website or at select retail locations including Tops Liquors in Tempe, Cellars Fine Wine & Spirits in Phoenix, and City Wine and Spirits in Mesa.
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