Weekend Cocktails! Brandy Old Fashioned

brandy old fashioned

Tonight is the night we trim the tree.  It’s been sitting bare in the living room waiting for us to have enough time to decorate it.  It’s been a really busy week with work travel and school work (mine and the kid’s) and all the normal stuff a family deals with.  Poor tree has been just sitting there since Sunday waiting patiently.  So tonight we are ordering in some Thai and Vietnamese food (my kitchen is always closed on Fridays.  I don’t think I’ve made dinner on a Friday night for years).  We’ll eat our pho and spring rolls and curry and pad ze-ew and then we’ll get down to business.

I love a good winter cocktail, something fun and festive.  So I think tonight calls for something more than just a glass of wine, at least to start.  This is where the apple brandy comes in.  I have a bottle that I bought for a yummy cider punch I made last year.  So this recipe seems like the perfect choice for tonight.

I love an old fashioned, and I love apple brandy and so what’s not to love about this cocktail?  Bonus, did you know bitters are really good for digestion?  If you’re having some issues after a meal, have a teaspoon of bitters and it should help.




  • 1/4 oz simple syrup OR 1 sugar cube
  • 2 dashes Angostura bitters
  • 1 1/2 oz apple brandy (such as Clear Creek)
  • lemon twist


  1. If using sugar, place the sugar cube in the bottom of the glass and add the 2 dashes of bitters. Muddle well to blend the sugar and bitters, then add a few drops of water and stir to dissolve the sugar.
  2. If using simple syrup, add the syrup and bitters to the glass.
  3. Place a large chunk of ice into the glass filled with sugar and bitters and add the apple brandy. Stir well to incorporate the sugar and brandy.
  4. Twist the lemon peel over the top, drop it into the glass and serve.


thanksgiving table

It’s Monday, and for Americans it’s also the week of Thanksgiving.  This is usually the week where we think and talk about food nonstop.  What will we make?  What will we eat?  What will we have for leftovers?  Pie. Casserole.  Marshmallows on top of sweet potatoes.  Stuffing (my FAVORITE).  It’s a bit overwhelming.

Many fitness and diet experts will give you all kinds of rules and tips to navigate the holidays.  And many of those tips and tricks sap all the fun out of everything.  Don’t eat carbs.  Don’t have gravy.  Skip the dinner roll.  Only have one glass of wine.  Calories in/calories out.

I say, forget that.  Remember that quote I posted last week about how it’s what you eat on a regular basis that counts?  

It's fine to socializeoccasionally with special food and drink.-2

It’s true.  Do you nourish your body with the good stuff more often than not?  Do you give yourself ample opportunities to eat fruits and veggies and drink lots of water?  Even if you answered no, are you really going to start doing this on THANKSGIVING?

Stressing yourself out and feeling anxious and guilty about what you eat messes with your stress hormones, which release into your body, flooding it with chemicals that will inhibit your digestion.  The stress hormone Cortisol is to blame for excess belly fat in many people.  So do me a favor (heck, do yourself the favor) and relax.  If you’re going to eat something decadent, do it with joy and happiness.  Don’t sneak it.  Don’t chew it up quickly and swallow the evidence before anyone has a chance to “catch” you.  Savor it. Enjoy every bite.  AND MOST OF ALL, LISTEN TO YOUR BODY. When it’s had enough, respect that and put the fork down. And for goodness sake, never, ever comment on how much someone else is eating, what their body looks like, or how it’s now time to “work off all those calories”. 

And the next day, enjoy a green smoothie as part of my Green Smoothie Challenge, a bit of exercise, some fresh air, and the company of the people around you.