The Candy Apple Martini was one of the first Martini Cocktails I learned in Bartending School... and is still one of my favourites. This is how I make them...
Originally Posted August 23, 2011. Updated 1/5/2021
While on our mini vacation this weekend, we indulged in a rare treat for us - a cocktail at a bar.
Generally speaking, we’re far more apt to make cocktails for ourselves at home... it’s a very rare occasion that we have someone else do it for us.
Now, this is for a few reasons. For one, we’re frugal.
We’re also not people-people, for the most part, and tend to stay away from (usually) noisy bars.
The third reason has only really become an issue since I moved to Minnesota - it’s HARD to get what I want!
You see, I love martini cocktails, which have been my drink of choice since... jeez, turning legal (age 18, back home!).
I developed even more of an appreciation for them during my training at the Toronto Institute of Bartending, and well... that’s my style.
I’m not a beer drinker, and I’m not all that fond of commercial wines.
Also, as I may have mentioned in previous posts... I like my drinks to verge on “diabetes in a glass”.
Save the “dry”, please. My absolute favorite is the Candy Apple Martini - my recipe for it follows!
So... what’s the problem?
Here’s the thing.. It seems that “martini cocktails” are a regional thing... and not popular here in Minnesota. Also, terminology gets in the way... so here’s a little lesson.
What is the Difference between a Martini and a Martini Cocktail?
The best way to show the difference between a martini and a martini cocktail is to just tell you about each! So, a bit of a history lesson...
What is a Martini?
Strictly speaking, a martini IS a cocktail (2 or more spirits/etc mixed), just not a “martini cocktail”.
What constitutes a proper martini can cause heated debates among connoisseur and pedants, but generally consists of vodka and vermouth. NOT my thing!
Martinis have been around since 1763, when a German composer by the name of Martini liked to drink a mixture of dutch gin mixed with a dry white wine.
The drink has a long and evolved history since that point, with many bits of the minutiae hotly debated.
Martinis / Traditional Martinis / Classic Martinis are approximately 2 oz of spirits, served in a shallow martini glass.
While they may be accented by a splash of bitters, or other flavorings (olive juice, for example), there aren’t any liqueurs or mixes incorporated.
Also, the only garnish for these drinks tends to go IN the drink - cocktail onions, olives, lemon peel. You would not see sugar rims, umbrellas, etc in a classic martini.
What is a Flavoured Martini?
A flavored martini is served the same as a classic martini - approximately 2 oz of alcohol, poured into the same shallow martini glass - however, it’s not straight spirits as a traditional martini is.
Generally speaking, you would find 1 oz of vodka, and 1-2 oz of a flavored liqueur.
Some examples would be:
Appletini - 1 oz vodka, 1 oz Sour Apple Pucker
Chocolate Martini - 1 oz vodka, 1 oz creme de cacao
Flavored vodkas may be used (say, vanilla vodka in that chocolate martini!), but there is not really any “mix” used, short of maybe a squeeze or splash of juice.
While the glass is the same, the presentation can be more fun - glass rims can be dipped in sugar, cocoa, crushed up candy canes... whatever.
Garnishes are more likely to be on the outside of the cocktail (rim), than on the inside - apple slices, lemon wheels, pineapple wedges, whatever you want.
Many of the aforementioned pedants turn up their nose at the idea of flavored martinis actually counting as martinis... but, whatever. I’m not getting into that argument!
What is a Martini Cocktail?
Martini cocktails go a step further than flavored martinis, and incorporate 2-4 oz of mix - fruit juices, bar lime/sweet and sour, fruit purees, etc.
A more voluminous drink, these will be more in the 4-7 oz range, and are served in a large martini glass, or “martini cocktail glass”*.
I prefer martini cocktails to both traditional and flavored martinis, because I am not a fan of alcohol on its own - I like it as an ingredient that works together with others for a lighter, usually fruity drink.
The other styles of martini are a little too harsh for me - I DO drink “like a girl”!
Now, the weird thing is that I KNOW Cosmopolitans - a martini cocktail- are/were popular here, as a result of Sex and the City. Did they make they with no cranberry juice or something?
Is Minnesota’s lack of true martini cocktails just a Minnesota/midwest thing, or are they tough to come by across the country? I don’t know! Tell me how this works in your area!
Candy Apple Martinis...
So, many of the bars I have been to in MN not only haven’t got large martini glasses, they’ve never heard of them.
When you order a “Candy Apple Martini”, you’re apt to get something that’s missing the mix (cranberry juice, in this case!) entirely.
Some places are nice about offering to make them - if they have the ingredients, that is - but I hate feeling high maintenance.
This weekend, the bartender cordially indulged my request, but carried on like I have NO idea what I'm talking about, etc. Sorry mister.. but YES, pineapple juice DOES belong in a French Martini!
This is my own recipe for Candy Apple Martinis, the way I like them.
They vary slightly from what I was taught: 1 oz unflavored vodka, ½ oz Sour Puss Apple, ½ oz Butter Ripple schnapps, 3-4 oz cranberry juice.
Hey, it's my blog, I'll mess with recipes if I want to!
Interested in boozy culinary fun? You should check out my first cookbook, The Spirited Baker. It’s FULL of fun, tasty recipes using spirits and liqueurs for flavour – you should check it out:
Combining liqueurs with more traditional baking ingredients can yield spectacular results.Try Mango Mojito Upside Down Cake, Candy Apple Flan, Jalapeno Beer Peanut Brittle, Lynchburg Lemonade Cupcakes, Pina Colada Rum Cake, Strawberry Daiquiri Chiffon Pie, and so much more.
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Candy Apple Martini Cocktail
- 1 oz apple flavored vodka**
- 1 oz sour apple pucker
- 1 oz butterscotch schnapps
- 4 oz cranberry juice
- Measure ingredients into a shaker.
- Add a handful of ice, shake a few times, strain into a martini cocktail glass (~8 oz size).
- Garnish with apple slices, if desired.
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