Shake It Out: Apple Cider Nor’Easters

Nor'Easter from Shake the Cocktail Book

Ever since moving to New York, I’ve developed a fascination with bartenders/mixologists/cocktailians. Two points if they have a tattoo of the logo of the trendy bar they serve, three points if they can make and shake two tumblers at once.

More than that, I’m mesmerized by their behind-the-counter assortment of brews, bottles, and bitters. Watching a mixologist create a complicated drink can be like watching a chef serve a five star meal, which is how I decided that I would like to become one – for a day.

This goal came with several obstacles:

  •  The Pisco Sour incident of 2012 (Pro Tip: Don’t make a cocktail with an egg if you don’t know what you’re doing.)
  • My kitchen is incredibly ill-equipped for cocktail-making. Unless you count a hammer as a muddler (which I have).
  • I’m terrible at making decisions. Especially when it comes to deciding which delicious alcoholic beverage I’d like to devote my time and resources to creating.

This is where Shake (Clarkson Potter, $25.00) comes in. Written by Eric Prum and Josh Williams, it’s a hipster’s fantasy with easy-to-follow cocktail recipes, accompanied by beautiful photos. While I would have liked to have seen a few more recipes, this is one of the best cocktail books I’ve seen because it takes complicated recipes and breaks them down so that even a beginner could follow them and make delicious drinks with minimal effort.

Shake Cocktail Book

For my Monday après-work drink, I selected the Nor’Easter from the Fall Section, which made my Monday approximately 74% better. Here’s the recipe so you can follow along and bask in apple cider deliciousness:

The Nor’Easter

Yield: 1 cocktail

You will need:

3 shots bourbon
2 shots Apple Cider Syrup (See recipe below)
4 cups fresh apple cider
2 strips of orange zest
1 shot fresh lemon juice
2 strips of orange zest (to garnish)

To make:

Apple Cider Syrup

  1. Boil the apple cider and orange zest over high heat until reduced to one cup. Strain and chill before use.


  1. Add the bourbon, apple cider syrup, and lemon juice to the shaker.
  2. Add ice to above the level of the liquid and shake vigorously for 15 seconds.
  3. Strain mixture into coupes and garnish with strips of orange zest.