Dark Isle Blitz: Bitchin Witchin

The witch girls cackled on in the corner at the same old booth. It seems Ghoul’s night out was lasting all October long for them. A picky bunch they liked colorful drinks with a touch of sweet. No one wanted to get hexed, so I whipped up a cocktail of herbs, fresh juice, apple brandy and a little poison. The result, a treat no old crone could resist.

WitchsApple (2)

This cocktail came from a love of American IPA’s, and the thought one drunken night “Hey Hop syrup would be cool”. It got pushed to the back burner for months. Even though the funky flavor in my mind would be on point I had no real idea to pop it into. A little Calvados in August brought this idea on, and I’m really glad it did. Some pieces fell in last minute, to be honest they just made the drink better. The Foco bears mention in that I had seen it in Remixed and Potions from the Bum. After being burned by Ceres I was skeptical about other juices. Ceres kind of sucks because it’s mostly pear, and it tastes like it to. Luckily in Foco it’s lengthened by water, So it still tastes like the advertised fruit. Also it’s way cheaper. Look for it at your local Asian Food mart. I’ll be honest it’s a lot of fun to use. If you lack Foco just remove it and the Strega, shake, and serve in a coupe. I call that the Witchy-Poo and it’s alright to, but a different animal.

WitchsApple (12)Witch’s Apple
1 ½ oz Calvados (Christian Drouin Selectcion or Domfrontais style)
¾ oz fresh lime juice
¾ oz FOCO passion fruit juice (Check you local asian food mart)
½ oz Green Chartreuse
½ oz Hop Syrup (See Recipe below)
1 tsp Midori (Stop cringing hipsters)
1 tsp Strega
dash Bittermen’s Hopped Grapefruit bitters

Shake together with ice. Pour unstrained into a tulip and garnish with green apple and a straw.


Hop Syrup
Heaping ½ cup Simcoe hops (not pellets)
1 cup sugar
1 cup water

Bring to a decent boil stirring often then dial back the heat to medium low and allow to simmer for two minutes. Remove from heat, cover, and leave to infuse for 4 to 5 hours before bottling and straining.


This drink really takes you on some twists and turns. It has a lovely aroma of apple and herbs. The Calvados and notes from the Strega take a quick bow at the open only to meld away to citrus peel and balanced hops. As the herbaciousness rises the apple and passion fruit come out to do their big number, fading with a waft of mellow sweetness. This drink sort of reminds me of a Missionary’s Downfall. It has some sweetness, but the herbs and citrus keeps it from being to sweet. The syrup is actually a lot of fun. It gives a good hop bite but doesn’t overpower. However after 3-4 weeks the flavor really weakens.

WitchsApple (4)Don’t be afraid of the Midori, cocktails are supposed to be fun. You should definitely make that hop syrup. We’ll keep our ghastly groove moving as Halloween draws closer. Until next time…


“You Get Hammered America” – JFL

About JFL

Joey or JFL as he is known by friends is a culinary trained mixologist from the Heart of Dixie Birmingham, Alabama. From a weekly column in the St. Clair News Aegis to his own experiments online JFL never stops doing work on Tiki and Cocktails. When he's not studying all things spirit, wine, and beer he's pursuing his own odd interests such as cartoons, cheesy old horror movies, horror punk, hair metal, and hockey
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