Islay 75

March  5, 2014
Photo by Molly Wizenberg
Author Notes

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

  • Serves 1
  • Laphroaig Scotch, for rinsing
  • 1 1/2 ounces Applejack
  • 3/4 ounce freshly squeezed juice from an orange, Cara Cara orange, blood orange, or tangerine
  • 1/2 ounce rich simple syrup (2:1 sugar to water)
  • Chilled hard cider, such as Tieton, Anthem, or Strongbow
  • Thinly sliced lemon, for garnishing
In This Recipe
  1. 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.

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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.