The Washington Apple is a popular tart, crisp cocktail that is easy to both make and drink. According to History of Shots, it was first made in the late 1980s when a bug infested most of the apple orchards in Washington, and Christof Guycoogan decided to ferment and distill the ruined fruits. The result was apple liqueur, which he noticed complemented his favorite drink of cranberry juice and Canadian whisky. The Washington Apple has grown more and more popular with time. If you have never tried it or wish to make it and don’t know what whisky to use, this list is for you. In it, we review the top 5 Canadian whiskies for the perfect Washington Apple.
Contents of the Washington Apple
The Washington Apple contains Canadian whisky, apple liqueur or sour-apple schnapps for the apple element, and cranberry juice. It is usually served as a short, but you can reduce or add the ratios and make a smaller or larger drink. Essentially, you measure all the ingredients, shake them up, and pour the resulting liquid into a glass. This is a great drink for any occasion.
Choosing the Best Canadian Whisky for a Washington Apple
Canadian whisky is used for the Washington Apple cocktail because it’s light, smooth, and ideal for mixing. Crown Royal and Canadian Club are popular brands, but any mid-priced Canadian whisky or blended whisky will do. Here are some middle-shelf and top-shelf Canadian whisky picks that you most definitely need to add to your home bar.
1. Bearface 7 Year Triple Oak
Notes: Citrus, caramel, and sweet corn
Bearface 7 Year Triple Oak is a single-grain whisky that is matured in three separate oaks, each of which is selected for the distinct flavor it produces. It is usually allowed to age for at least 7 years in a charred American oak barrel previously used for bourbon for a warm vanilla flavor. Next, the whisky is housed in a tight-grained French oak barrel that was previously used for a minimum of seven years to produce rich, high-end wines for the Mission Hill Family Estate Winery. Lastly, the whisky is infused with rye notes by aging it in a virgin Hungarian oak barrel that has been air-dried and is three years old. The result is a one-of-a-kind whisky that will make an excellent Washington Apple shot for you are your friends.
2. Lot No. 40
Notes: Toffee, vanilla, and citrus
Lot No. 40 was originally discontinued in the early 2000s until popular demand brought it back to the shelves. It is widely considered the ultimate expression of rye Canadian whisky and has won the Canadian Whisky of the Year twice. In terms of flavor, you should prepare yourself for a unique roller-coaster of tastes and a spicy finish. Lot No. 40’s nose is of cinnamon and clove, which compliments the peppery and dry palate perfectly. It is made entirely of rye and batches are distilled individually in copper pot stills to produce an intense rye taste. Its flavor palate will meld with the apple perfectly to produce a superb Washington Apple shot.
3. Masterson’s 10-Year-Old Rye
Notes: Vanilla, toffee, and clove
If you are looking for intense flavor in your Washington Apple, look no further than Masterson’s 10-Year-Old Straight Rye. It consists entirely of Pacific Northwest rye and is distilled in Calgary, where it is aged in white oak barrels for at least 10 years. Your first sip of this whisky will reveal a strong rye spice that will light up your throat as it goes down. The finish will hit you with a tart, sharp aftertaste of dark chocolate and coffee flavors.
4. Pike Creek Port Barrel Finish Canadian Whisky
Notes: Caramel, clove, and prune
Pike Creek stands out from other whiskies because it is naturally crafted by the elements. Its aging process does not involve practices like temperature control. Instead, the whisky is left to react to all the changes brought by the different seasons to produce a fruity spirit with nut, cinnamon, and vanilla hints. In addition to its warm, sweet finish, you will love its creamy vanilla palate and druid fruit nose. It is definitely the Canadian whisky to go for if you are looking for something on the sweet side.
5. Alberta Premium Cask Strength Rye
Notes: Vanilla, dark chocolate, and wood
Alberta Premium Cask Strength Rye has gone a long way in putting Canada on the maps. It came in first in the 2020 Jim Murray Whisky Bible and was also crowned the World Whiskey of the Year for 2021. With a 65.1 percent abv., this is a strong whisky with a very powerful release. It is 100 percent rye whisky containing Rocky Mountain water and Canadian Prairie rye. If you are looking to pack a punch into your Washington Apple, then Alberta Premium Cask Strength Rye is the way to go. The producing company claims to be the only distiller to bring out the spice and bold flavor in 100 percent rye whisky. While it is somewhat difficult to obtain – often being sold out in Canada – it is a fantastic whisky if you can find it.
Why Canadian Whisky?
Whenever the Washington Apple comes up, there is always an insistence on Canadian Whisky. This is because Canadian Whisky has a unique flavor that you cannot get from other whiskies like Scotch and bourbon. It is usually made from barley, corn, and wheat, with all the ingredients mashed, fermented, aged, and distilled separately, according to Liqour.com. This process ensures that all the components reach their best possible potential. There are also fewer laws governing the production of Canadian Whisky. Canadian whisky usually has three flavor touchpoints: citrus bitterness (finish), spice (middle), and butterscotch (first). The combination creates a unique, refined, and elegant flavor profile.
If you are looking for a simple, elegant drink to sip in the fall or summer, you cannot go wrong with the Washington Apple. Once you pick a Canadian whisky from this list, all the recipes call for equal parts cranberry juice, sour apple schnapps or apple liqueur, and Canadian whisky. Enjoy!