“I run a cocktail catering company called Reverie in Southern Pines. I make a lot of my own ingredients, and I love to use North Carolina spirits. This summer I finally got to meet Scot Sanborn of Sutler’s Spirit Co. in Winston-Salem. His gin has a lot of flavor and nuance, and it’s not super-juniper forward, which makes it really versatile for cocktails.This is a fall cocktail, but since fall can still be pretty warm around here, I wanted to keep it light. His gin works really well with the baking spice flavors of the apple cinnamon shrub. Amontillado sherry has a dry, nutty flavor, which is aligned with those fall flavors too. I usually name drinks after songs. In this case I was thinking about fall when a song came on with the lyrics ‘I miss the way life was when you were my girl.’ Fall is a beautiful time of year, but there’s something sad about the end of summer, and the song reminded me of that.” Tony Cross, Reverie, Southern PinesApple Cinnamon Shrub1 cup apple cider vinegar2/3 cup maple syrup3 medium organic apples, unpeeled and shredded1 Ceylon cinnamon stickÂ¼ teaspoon cardamom seedsStir vinegar and maple syrup together in a half-gallon Mason jar. Add shredded apples, cinnamon, and cardamom seed. Put lid on jar and shake to blend ingredients. Place the jar in the back of your refrigerator and let it sit for three to five days. Taste on day three. If you’re happy with the flavor, strain and discard debris. Store in a clean jar and keep refrigerated. Flavor will mature over time.Demerara SyrupOver medium heat, stir together two parts demerara sugar and one part water until dissolved, then cool.I Miss the Way Life Was When You Were My Girl1Â½ ounces Sutler’s GinÂ¾ ounce lemon juiceÂ½ ounce Lustau Amontillado SherryScant Â½ ounce apple cinnamon shrubÂ¼ ounce demerara syrup1 dash black walnut bittersCombine all ingredients in a shaker, add ice, and shake vigorously for 10 seconds. Double strain into a chilled coupe glass. Garnish with a lemon peel, expressing the oils before dropping into the drink.
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