This recipe was created by Niah Bystrom, bar manager of Essex.
To make what is called "rich" simple syrup, combine 2 parts sugar and 1 part water in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer, and cook, stirring regularly, until the sugar is fully dissolved, about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat, and chill thoroughly before using. —MollyandBrandon
Laphroaig Scotch, for rinsing
1 1/2 ounces
freshly squeezed juice from an orange, Cara Cara orange, blood orange, or tangerine
rich simple syrup (2:1 sugar to water)
Chilled hard cider, such as Tieton, Anthem, or Strongbow
Pour a small amount -- maybe a scant teaspoon -- of Laphroig into a Champagne flute or coupe. Swirl the glass to evenly coat.
In a cocktail shaker, combine Applejack, orange juice, and rich simple syrup. Add ice, and shake well. Strain into the prepared glass; then top up with cider. Garnish with a slice of lemon, and serve immediately.
Brandon and Molly met because of a mutual interest in food - or, more specifically, when Brandon read Molly's food blog Orangette and sent her an e-mail that included some very effective compliments. The better part of a decade later, they co-own and run the restaurant Delancey and its sibling Essex, in Seattle. Brandon is the chef of both, and when he's not manning the wood-burning oven, he likes to make things from scratch that more sane people would probably buy, like mustard, vinegars, pretzels, and obscurely flavored liqueurs. Molly is the manager / Organizer of All Things at Delancey and Essex, and she is also the author of the New York Times bestseller A Homemade Life and the forthcoming memoir Delancey. They have a young daughter named June, who is excitedly crawling toward the refrigerator as Molly types this sentence, and two dogs named Jack and Alice.