Normandy France has long been known for the quality of its cream. In classic regional dishes like Veal or Chicken Normandy, tender cutlets are coated in a luxurious sauce of cream, apples and a French apple brandy known as Calvados. Specially grown apples are selected and fermented into a into a cider, which is distilled then matured for several years to make this soothing spirit. Though most often sipped by itself, or midway during a meal as a digestive aid, Calvados also mixes well in a vast array of cocktails.
Determined to design a cocktail inspired by the flavors of Normandy, Paul began with Calvados and cream and then experimented with adding a bit of chai infused vodka. The sweet and spicy flavors in chai including ginger, cinnamon, black pepper, cardamom, cloves and star anise complement the warm apple essence of Calvados, all soothing our senses in our new favorite Fall cocktail.
Add all ingredients into a cocktail shaker, cover and shake vigorously for about five seconds. Open the cocktail shaker again and add 2 ice cubes. Shake again for 20 seconds.
Strain into a chilled glass and garnish with crisp, fresh apple slices. Optional: add two ice cubes to drink before serving.
• CHAI INFUSED VODKA: place 2 Chai tea bags (we used Tazo Chai) into 1 cup of Vodka (such as Kettle One). Allow to infuse for at least 2 hours. Remove tea bags and use in desired cocktail recipe, or keep in fridge for at least 2 weeks. • SIMPLE SYRUP: mix 1 cup sugar and 1 cup water in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil and stir until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and let cool. Pour into a glass jar and cover. Makes about 1½ cups and will keep in the refrigerator for a few months.