Let's build a wall.
Nope, not a racist, pie-in-the-sky, fantasy wall that displays no understanding of how continents or geopolitics work – a Stone Wall, also known as a Stone Fence, perhaps the first "cocktail" to be drunk in the United States.
Most of this column's classic cocktails date to the early 20th century, sometimes the late 19th, but in fact, we weren't even the United States yet when revolutionary fighters were downing this mixed drink of cider and rum. In 1775, Ethan Allen and his Green Mountain Boys made the Catamount Tavern their militia headquarters, where they quaffed more than a few Stone Walls. Sadly, the origin of the name seems to be lost, though cocktail writer David Wondrich suggests that the effect of drinking too many Stone Walls is "not unlike that produced by running downhill into one."
This Colonial-era drink is just hard cider with a tot or two of rum, so that's where I started, and you can't go wrong with it – it's a tasty fall beverage. However, to fancy it up into modernity, I tried a few different versions and techniques. My final Remix takes into account the fact that Laird's Applejack was being distilled at the time of these interesting political shenanigans, and using that apple brandy (which has the fiery bite of whiskey) makes the drink even more patriotic. In addition to that substitution, I added some lemon juice to balance the sweet cider, some tea to give it smoky depth, and some ginger beer to give it a sparkle.
Then I went nuts and froze it, because there can never be enough slushies in Orlando's godforsaken 90-degree "fall" weather. So here you have it, a frozen Stone Wall – all the spicy notes of fall, all the brain-freeze of summer.
4 ounces hard cider, preferably on the sweet side
2 ounces dark rum
Pour both into a mug (with ice, if you have access to such a newfangled notion); stir; drink.
Now go shake off the yoke of your oppressors.
3 bottles of hard cider (about 36 ounces)
8 ounces Laird's Applejack
12 ounces ginger beer
6 ounces smoky tea (or pre-made chai blend, no milk)
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
First, pour the cider into clean ice-cube trays and freeze overnight or for at least six hours. If brewing your own tea, choose a smoky blend like oolong or lapsang souchong, and brew with enough time to chill completely before building the drink.
In a blender, combine all of the chilled ingredients. Pulse until slushy, then serve with a lemon slice and a straw. Toast the revolution! (serves 4)
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