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The Rabbit Hole’s Apple Cinnamon Fashioned: fall flavors

Still a spirit-forward drink

The Rabbit Hole's Apple Cinnamon Fashioned
The Rabbit Hole's Apple Cinnamon Fashioned
Josh Blanton
  • Josh Blanton
  • The Rabbit Hole
  • 3377 Adams Avenue
  • Normal Heights

Feeling festive, I make my way down to The Rabbit Hole in Normal Heights, where they’ve curated a fall-themed drink menu. There, bartender Josh Blanton serves up his Apple Cinnamon Fashioned, a cocktail he created by putting a seasonal spin on a classic recipe. “It’s made with apple brandy, Buffalo Trace, a little bit of agave, three to four dashes of apple bitters, and stirred with a cinnamon stick, over a big ice cube,” he tells me. “And it’s a fan favorite for a good fall drink.”

Blanton shares the inspiration behind the recipe, “I wanted to do something with an Old Fashioned for fall. And everyone does typical fall flavors, but I wanted to do something a little different. So I used apple-cinnamon — which is still fall flavors.” The resulting concoction is subtle to the eye, but powerful on the palate. “It’s very spirit forward, but it has a nice sweet kick to it because of the apple bitters and the agave. And the cinnamon gives a nice aroma to it when you drink it.” He is quick to quell any suspicion that the apple flavor might be too tart. “Agave settles that, and so does the cinnamon stick. The bourbon cuts through as well.”

Blanton believes the apple is what sets his drink apart this season. “Not too many people use apple in their fall drinks; it’s usually pumpkin or other flavors. And the apple bitters — I had to search for that one!” He’s too polite to just throw pumpkin spice under the bus, but I prod him until he grants, “I just think it’s been too long, and there are other avenues of fall that we can be expressing.”

Besides the apple autumn innovation, Blanton touts the virtues of Buffalo Trace Bourbon. “It’s from one of the oldest distilleries in the country — it’s actually older than our country! It’s very acclaimed, and Buffalo Trace, coming from them, is a moderately priced bourbon. So I’m a big fan of that.” He describes its flavor as “one of the smoothest bourbons out there for the price. It’s not too oaky, it’s got a nice medium level to it, it’s a nice, drinkable bourbon.”

The Apple Cinnamon Fashioned came about through trial and error. “I was using regular almond bitters, then I tried walnut bitters, different syrups… I was going to make an apple syrup but I thought that would be too overpowering… So, I went with agave. Lots of trips to the drawing board after a couple cocktails, for sure.”

Place

Rabbit Hole

3377 Adams Avenue, San Diego

Blanton grants that his drink “might sound weird at first, but once you have it, it’s a very tasty cocktail.” He cites an Old Fashioned fan who was hesitant about the apple and cinnamon. She found it “intriguing, but kind of off-putting, because she wanted a spirit-forward drink, and she didn’t think this would be. But it is.” Blanton boldly offered to pay for the drink if she didn’t like it. “She tried it and sold three or four to her friends.”

The Rabbit Hole's Apple Cinnamon Fashioned

The Rabbit Hole’s

Apple cinnamon fashioned

  • 1/2 oz. Jim Beam apple brandy
  • 1 1/2 oz. Buffalo Trace bourbon
  • 3 dashes apple bitters
  • 1/4 oz. agave
  • Cinnamon stick
  • Build in the glass over one large ice cube. Serve with a cinnamon stick.
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The Rabbit Hole's Apple Cinnamon Fashioned
The Rabbit Hole's Apple Cinnamon Fashioned
Josh Blanton
  • Josh Blanton
  • The Rabbit Hole
  • 3377 Adams Avenue
  • Normal Heights

Feeling festive, I make my way down to The Rabbit Hole in Normal Heights, where they’ve curated a fall-themed drink menu. There, bartender Josh Blanton serves up his Apple Cinnamon Fashioned, a cocktail he created by putting a seasonal spin on a classic recipe. “It’s made with apple brandy, Buffalo Trace, a little bit of agave, three to four dashes of apple bitters, and stirred with a cinnamon stick, over a big ice cube,” he tells me. “And it’s a fan favorite for a good fall drink.”

Blanton shares the inspiration behind the recipe, “I wanted to do something with an Old Fashioned for fall. And everyone does typical fall flavors, but I wanted to do something a little different. So I used apple-cinnamon — which is still fall flavors.” The resulting concoction is subtle to the eye, but powerful on the palate. “It’s very spirit forward, but it has a nice sweet kick to it because of the apple bitters and the agave. And the cinnamon gives a nice aroma to it when you drink it.” He is quick to quell any suspicion that the apple flavor might be too tart. “Agave settles that, and so does the cinnamon stick. The bourbon cuts through as well.”

Blanton believes the apple is what sets his drink apart this season. “Not too many people use apple in their fall drinks; it’s usually pumpkin or other flavors. And the apple bitters — I had to search for that one!” He’s too polite to just throw pumpkin spice under the bus, but I prod him until he grants, “I just think it’s been too long, and there are other avenues of fall that we can be expressing.”

Besides the apple autumn innovation, Blanton touts the virtues of Buffalo Trace Bourbon. “It’s from one of the oldest distilleries in the country — it’s actually older than our country! It’s very acclaimed, and Buffalo Trace, coming from them, is a moderately priced bourbon. So I’m a big fan of that.” He describes its flavor as “one of the smoothest bourbons out there for the price. It’s not too oaky, it’s got a nice medium level to it, it’s a nice, drinkable bourbon.”

The Apple Cinnamon Fashioned came about through trial and error. “I was using regular almond bitters, then I tried walnut bitters, different syrups… I was going to make an apple syrup but I thought that would be too overpowering… So, I went with agave. Lots of trips to the drawing board after a couple cocktails, for sure.”

Place

Rabbit Hole

3377 Adams Avenue, San Diego

Blanton grants that his drink “might sound weird at first, but once you have it, it’s a very tasty cocktail.” He cites an Old Fashioned fan who was hesitant about the apple and cinnamon. She found it “intriguing, but kind of off-putting, because she wanted a spirit-forward drink, and she didn’t think this would be. But it is.” Blanton boldly offered to pay for the drink if she didn’t like it. “She tried it and sold three or four to her friends.”

The Rabbit Hole's Apple Cinnamon Fashioned

The Rabbit Hole’s

Apple cinnamon fashioned

  • 1/2 oz. Jim Beam apple brandy
  • 1 1/2 oz. Buffalo Trace bourbon
  • 3 dashes apple bitters
  • 1/4 oz. agave
  • Cinnamon stick
  • Build in the glass over one large ice cube. Serve with a cinnamon stick.
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