The apple and the witch have long held a duplicitous association. This plump, inviting fruit belies the true intention of the femme fatale; whether it be Eve or the Evil Queen Grimhilde, it has long been a symbol of desire and trickery, testing virtue and inciting evil.
The inherent femininity of the witch and the apple has caused folklore and fear to abound; the unknowable woman is feared and respected both.
With Halloween upon us, the inspiration of the enchanted nature of the apple is invoked to concoct a cocktail with two faces. On the surface it is sweet, docile, tame — but drink deeper and the complexity and might of the thyme will bewitch and maybe befuddle.
The duality of this cocktail functions as any good witches’ brew should — it keeps you craving more, while minute by minute drawing you deeper under its spell. You have been warned.
Thyme and Apple Simple Syrup
½ cup (125 ml) of dark brown sugar
½ cup (125 ml) of water
1 apple, cored and roughly chopped
2 large sprigs of thyme
Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan and bring to medium heat, stirring frequently.
Once the sugar has dissolved, remove the mixture from the heat and allow to cool fully. Remove the apple pieces from the mixture but leave the thyme.
Store in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to one week.
Witches’ Brew Cocktail
(Makes 1 cocktail)
½ ounce (15 ml) of thyme and apple simple syrup
¼ ounce (7.5 ml) of apple cider vinegar
2 ounces (60 ml) of spiced rum
4 ounces (120 ml) of apple cider
1 sprig of thyme
apple slices to garnish (optional)
Combine all ingredients in a snifter and garnish with apple slices. Enjoy!