Lowder Specs

An Easy List of 178 (Modern) Classics to Know – 2016 Edition

Pisco & Apple Brandy


Ok, it’s lazy of me to lump fruit brandy into one category, especially after giving Tiki its own section. But I do want to keep this document practical and as short as possible, and the fact of the matter is that people just don’t ask me for apple brandy or pisco cocktails very often. Now, that having been said, I LOVE these two spirit categories. I hope that this document lives to see a time when I have to expand this section to satisfy a new demand for fruit brandy cocktails. But that day is not today, and so one list is all you need for now.

“Apple brandy” can be a very tricky category, mostly because American and French apple brandies are so different. American apple brandies are aged in American oak, and so they’re dry and spicy. French apple brandies tend to be a bit juicier, although there are older VSOP and Hors d’age bottlings that drink more like Cognac. My point here is to have fun when you’re mixing. Try making these drinks with calvados, American apple brandy, or a blend of the two. The two often make completely different work of the same recipe, so enjoy that process.

Sidebar: “Applejack” does not equal “apple brandy.” Applejack is a blend of American apple brandy and American whiskey, and so it’s completely different than a pure apple brandy. Don’t buy applejack. If you really want that flavor, you can mix your own and have a much better product. Yeah, that’s right. I said it.

For pisco, your two options are Peruvian or Chilean. I like Peruvian personally, because it’s a bit richer and silkier, which in my opinion is the whole point of making a pisco drink in the first place. Again, this is a category with a lot of diversity. Different piscos have different grapes, and different grapes have different flavors and textures. If you change the pisco, you change the whole flavor of the drink. Pure and simple. I’m only including three pisco cocktails because it’s just not a category you need six drinks for. Again, hopefully that will change someday, but not yet.


Pisco Cocktails


1. Frantic Atlantic

a. 1 oz. Pisco

b. 1 oz. St. Germain

c. 1 oz. Fresh Grapefruit

d. .5 oz. Fresh Lime

i. Whip shake/Strain/Large rocks glass/Crushed ice/Mint plouche/Straw


2. Pisco Punch

a. 2 oz. Pisco

b. .75 oz. Fresh Lime

c. .75 oz. Pineapple Gomme

d. .5 oz. Lillet Rouge

e. 2 dashes Angostura Bitters

i. Shake/Strain/Snifter with cracked ice/Orange twist/Mint/Pineapple wedge


3. Pisco Sour

a. 2 oz. Pisco

b. .75 oz. Simple Syrup (1:1)

c. .5 oz. Fresh Lemon

d. .5 oz. Fresh Lime

e. 1 Egg White

i. Dry shake/Shake/Fine strain/Coupe/6 drops Chuncho bitters


Apple Brandy Stirred


1. American Trilogy

a. 1 oz. Rye

b. 1 oz. Apple Brandy

c. Barspoon Demerara Syrup (1:1)

d. 2 dashes Orange Bitters

i. Build in a large rocks glass/Large ice cube/Stir briefly/Orange and Lemon twists


2. Grandfather

a. 1 oz. Bourbon

b. 1 oz. Bonded Apple Brandy

c. 1 oz. Italian Rosso Vermouth

d. 2 dashes Peychaud’s Bitters

e. 2 dashes Angostura Bitters

i. Stir/Strain/Coupe


3. Widow’s Kiss

a. 2 oz. Apple Brandy

b. .25 oz. Yellow Chartreuse

c. .25 oz. Benedictine

d. 2 dashes Angostura Bitters

i. Build in large rocks glass/Large ice/Short stir/No garnish


Apple Brandy Shaken


1. Applejack Rabbit

a. 2 oz. Apple Brandy

b. .75 oz. Fresh Lemon

c. .75 oz. Fresh Orange

d. .5 oz. Maple Syrup

i. Shake/Fine strain/Coupe/No Garnish


2. Jack Rose

a. 1 oz. American Apple Brandy

b. 1 oz. Calvados

c. .75 oz. Grenadine

d. .5 oz. Fresh Lemon

e. .5 oz. Fresh Lime

i. Shake/Fine strain/Coupe/No Garnish


3. Philadelphia Fish House Punch

a. 1 oz. Calvados

b. 1 oz. Aged Jamaican Rum

c. .75 oz. Fresh Lemon

d. .25 oz. Peach Liqueur

e. >.25 oz. Demerara Syrup (1:1)

f. .25 oz. Fresh Ginger Syrup

g. 1 dash Orange Bitters

i. Shake/Strain/Rock/Lemon wheel/Grated Cinnamon