“Always feel you near to me underneath the apple tree”
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I fell in love with Saint Etienne the moment I heard Foxbase Alpha. I collected every release (even singles) over the years loving their blend of electronica and ’60s pop. I also have a massive crush on Sarah Cracknell, whose vocals are some of the most iconic of the era. Saint Etienne was one of a handful of ’90s bands who while embracing the dancefloor also wanted to see where pop music could go. 30 years later, I often find myself firing up their catalog for a backyard hang or to brighten up a rainy day. I chose this Saint Etienne song while I was actually having the drink. The light happy pop of a love song and the whole “underneath the apple tree/fresh press apple taste” thing is a perfect fit.
I discovered Cawston Press from my obsession with ginger beer. They make a mighty fine ginger beer, not the best I’ve had but very solid with good heat and a low sweetness. Where Cawston Press really excels is with their other sparkling drinks. A blend of top-quality juices and just a touch of fizziness, these make a great starting point for soft cocktails. (To be clear, I do not get any compensation or consideration from Cawston Press – at least not yet. I just really love their drinks.)
Their Cloudy Apple is essentially unfiltered Jonagold, Gala & Braeburn apple juice blended with sparkling water. It’s like fresh-pressed cider in a can. Spice additions seemed the best choice for this drink. I went with a current favorite bitter: Fennel Bitters from Bar Keep. Basically, I had the idea of a Fennel Apple salad in mind when mixing. I think If I could find Dr. Brown’s Cel-Ray to fill in for the salad’s celery element, it would be spot on.
UNDERNEATH THE APPLE TREE
Cawston Press Cloudy Apple & Bar Keep Fennel Bitters
Makes 1 drink
Take a 12oz glass and add a couple of ice cubes. Gently shake Cloudy Apple can – open and pour over ice. Add 3 – 4 dashes of Fennel bitters. Gently stir. Serve remaining Cloudy Apple along with the drink.