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Nominated for Tales of the Cocktail 2008 Spirit Award for Best Cocktail Writing


Westford Hill Distillers New World Aged Apple Brandy PDF Print E-mail
Written by Debra C. Argen and Edward F. Nesta   
Westford Hill Distillery New World Aged Apple Brandy
Westford Hill Distillers Aged Apple Brandy made in Ashford, Connecticut by Master Distiller Louis Chatey, would make Johnny Appleseed proud. We love the "ABCs" - Armagnac, Brandy, and Cognac, and we found Westford Hill New World Aged Apple Brandy to be downright delicious, like drinking potent liquid apple gold. Cheers!

 

 

 

Louis Chatey and Margaret Chatey - Westford Hill Distillers - Ashford, CT USA
Louis and Margaret Chatey
Westford Hill Distillers

On Saturday, October 17, 2020, we drove to Westford Hill Distillers in Ashford, Connecticut to meet with the extremely personable and knowledgeable Louis and Margaret Chatey, tour their facility, and taste their exceptional line of products which include their New World Aged Apple Brandy, Poire William, Kirsch, Rime Vodka, Gin, and many others. Their location is idyllic New England complete with rolling hills, a red barn distillery, and rock wall. The scenery was stunning with bright bursts of yellow dahlias bathed in sunlight and the nearby trees donning their finest Autumn colors of golds, reds, and oranges.  

New World Aged Apple Brandy - Westford Hill DistilleryAt some time or other, we have all been inspired after taking a trip, perhaps it was to learn a new sport, skill, or take a culinary class. However, it would be safe to say that not many of us have been inspired to make a major career change and start a new business based on a trip, yet that is exactly the inspiration that changed Louis and Margaret Chatey's lives. After taking a trip to France, where they met with a distiller who was making varieties of eau-de-vie, they returned home with the inspiration to build a distillery in 1995 on the 200-acre property that had been in Louis' family since 1919.  

Since opening in 1998 their focus has been on creating a variety of eau-de-vies which are clear, fruit brandies distilled from 100% natural fruit, and apple brandy. They recently added an English style gin and a vodka to their spirits portfolio. Their spirits have been steadily winning awards as well as winning the hearts and palates of discerning consumers, mixologists, and chefs.  

Speaking with the Chateys, we learned that they were something of pioneers in 1998 as "Westford Hill Distillers was one of six craft distillers in the United States east of the Rockies. As of 2019, there are now more than 4000 craft distillers worldwide." 

Product Information: Master Distiller Louis Chatey's approach to creating their New World Aged Apple Brandy was to create a New World style using 4 varieties of apples, whereas Old World Calvados (an apple brandy made in Normandy, France), uses 30 varieties. Louis sources his apples from local orchards using Macintosh apples for the nose, Northern Spy for the palate, Gravenstein for the finish, and Mutsu (Crispin) for the body.  He hand-distills and ages his New World Aged Brandy for 14 ages or longer in French oak barrels. Sold in 375 ml bottles, the packaging is stunning with the bottle bearing a fabric stitched label, jaunty black ribbon, and red wax stopper. 

Tasting Notes: In addition to crushing whole fruit, Louis puts loads of love into the hand-distilling and aging process, and the result is gorgeous. The Apple Brandy is a rich deep golden color, it is like drinking liquid gold, a nectar of the gods. Westford Hill Distillers New World Apple Brandy takes the nose on an aromatic journey, with its rich sweet notes. On the palate, the flavors develop to fully engage and delight the senses, with a luscious lingering finish.  

Luxury Experience was "In the kitchen and behind the bar®" creating some incredibly special handcrafted cocktail and culinary recipes to tempt your palate and inspire your own creations using Westford Hill Distillers New World Aged Apple Brandy.  

Luxury Experience Cocktail and Culinary Menu

 

The Cocktail Menu

Luxury Experience - C.A.B.

Luxury Experience - Autumn Leaves

Luxury Experience - Johnny A Caramel Martini

 

The Culinary Menu

Luxury Experience - Apple Brandy Tarts with Tipsy Raisins

 

The Cocktail Recipes

Luxury Experience - C.A.B. - photo by Luxury Experience

Luxury Experience - C.A.B 

Luxury Experience - C.A.B. takes its playful name from its ingredients (C)ava and (A)pple (B)randy.

We love the look of this cocktail served in a vintage hollow-stem champagne coupe.  

Luxury Experience - C.A.B
Yield: 1 Cocktail
Glass: Vintage Hollow-Stem Champagne Coupe 

Cocktail Ingredients: 

1
Ounce
3
Ounce

Method
: Add the ingredients in order given to the vintage hollow-stem champagne coupe.
 
 

Luxury Experience - Autumn Leaves - photo by Luxury Experience

Luxury Experience - Autumn Leaves  

Luxury Experience - Autumn Leaves celebrates the flavors of autumn and is made with Litchfield Distillery Maple Bourbon, Westford Hill Distillers New World Aged Apple Brandy, cider, cranberry juice, orange juice, and Fee Brothers Cranberry Bitters. Garnish with an orange peel wrapped cinnamon stick and float 3 cranberries on the ice. While the autumn leaves in New England only don their spectacular colors of reds, oranges, and golds for a short time, Luxury Experience - Autumn Leaves will help you celebrate throughout the season!  

Luxury Experience - Autumn Leaves

Yield: 1 Cocktail
Glass Used: Rocks Glass
  

Cocktail Ingredients:

1.0
Ounce
1.0
Ounce
0.75
Ounce
Cider
0.75
Ounce
Cranberry Juice
0.55
Ounce
Orange Juice
3
Dashes
3
 
Fresh Cranberries, garnish
1
 
Orange Peel, garnish
1
Stick
Cinnamon, garnish

Method for the Cocktail:  Mix all ingredients in a mixing glass. Pour into an ice filled rocks glass. Garnish with a cinnamon stick wrapped with an orange peel. Float 3 cranberries on the ice. 

Luxury Experience - Johnny A - Caramel Martini - photo by Luxury Experience

Luxury Experience - Johnny A Caramel Martini 

We created Luxury Experience - Johnny A Caramel Martini in honor of Johnny Appleseed who planted apple seeds in the United States for the express purpose of creating apple brandy. This tasty cocktail combines Westford Hill Aged Apple Brandy, Neige Cidre De Glace (Apple Ice Wine) from Canada, and apple juice. Sipped through the caramel rim made with River's Edge Sugar House Maple Syrup (also based in Ashford, Connecticut), this cocktail would make Johnny A proud. 

Luxury Experience - Johnny A Caramel Martini

Yield: 1 Cocktail
Glass Used: Martini Glass  

Caramel Rim Ingredients:

1
Ounce
Apple Cider
1
Ounce
1
Ounce
Heavy Cream

Method: Add the apple cider and maple syrup to a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Let boil for 2 minutes to reduce. Slowly add the heavy cream and boil until mixture comes away from the sides of the pan, about 2-3 minutes. Turn caramel out onto parchment paper. Turn martini glass upside down into the caramel to rim the glass. Rims can be made several hours ahead, making them perfect for a party or for restaurant bar use. 

Cocktail Ingredients:

1.5
Ounces
0.5
Ounce
Neige Cidre De Glace
2
Ounces
Apple Juice

Method: Add all ingredients to a shaker with 4 ice cubes. Shake hard to chill. Strain into the caramel rim martini glass. 

The Culinary Recipe

Luxury Experience - New World Aged Apple Brandy - photo by Luxury Experience

Luxury Experience - Apple Brandy Tarts with Tipsy Raisins

Makes 30 small tarts (2.5-inch tart pans) 

Luxury Experience - Apple Brandy Tarts with Tipsy Raisins plays up the delectable apple notes in the brandy to create an incredibly special dessert. Due to the richness, we like to make them in small tart pans and serve a small glass of the Westford Hill Distillers New World Aged Brandy with them.  

Tipsy Raisin Ingredients

0.50
Ounce
0.25
Cup
Raisins

Method: Add the raisins and Westford Hill New World Aged Apple Brandy to a glass jar, cover, shake, and let rest for a few days for the raisins to soak up the brandy. 

This recipe uses Pâte Sucrée, a fancy name for sweet, rich, pastry dough, that is enhanced with Westford Hill New World Aged Apple Brandy. The dough is easy to use, however it must be chilled for at least a few hours before using.

Tart Dough Ingredients

12
Tablespoons
Butter
4
Tablespoons
Sugar
2
Large
Egg Yolks
1.5
Cups
Flour
1
Pinch
Salt
2
Tablespoons
2
Tablespoons
Heavy Cream

Method: In a food processor or standing mixer, cream the butter and sugar. Add the eggs and beat until smooth. Add flour and salt. Pulse in food processor until mixture is crumbly. Add the brandy and heavy cream, and just process enough until dough comes together. Note: Do not overwork the dough or it will become tough. Create 2 balls from the dough. Flatten the balls, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Dough can be made 1-day ahead.

Roll dough and using a 3-inch cookie or biscuit cutter, cut the dough for the tart shells. Lightly spray the tart pans with vegetable oil. Place the dough in the pans and prick the dough with a toothpick or cake tester all over so the dough will not buckle. Refrigerate the prepared tart shells while you preheat the oven. 

Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit (177 degrees Celsius) until the pastry is golden. Remove from oven. Let cool on a baking rack. Gently remove from the tart shells from the pans. Set aside. Can make 1-day ahead, however they must be kept in an airtight container. 

Apple Brandy Pastry Cream Ingredients

1.5
Cups
Whole Milk
0.5
Cup
Half & Half (or Light Cream)
2
Large
Egg Yolks
0.5
Cup
Sugar
0.25
Cup
Cornstarch
1
Ounce
1
Pinch
Salt

Method: Use a food processor or standing mixer. Add the yolks and sugar and process until very creamy, then add cornstarch and salt to create a slurry. Keep the food processor running to create a smooth consistency. 

In a saucepan, heat the milk and Half & Half, until scalding.  Slowly add 1 small ladle of hot milk mixture to the egg mixture with the food processer running. This is to temper the eggs so they will not curdle. Continue adding 1 ladle at a time of the hot milk mixture to the egg mixture, until all the milk has been added to the eggs. Return mixture to the saucepan and cook over medium heat for about 2 minutes to thicken. Remove from heat and stir in the apple brandy to flavor the pastry cream. Let cool in a bowl, then cover and refrigerate until ready to use. Can be made 1 day ahead.

Apple Ingredients

1
Large
Granny Smith Apple
0.50
Teaspoon
Butter
2
Ounces
Apple Cider
0.50
Ounce
0.50
Ounce

Method: Use the small end of a melon-baller to create perfect apple balls. 

Add butter to a sauté pan and melt over low heat. Add the apple balls and gently sauté until still semi-hard. Turn heat up, add the apple cider, and boil until the cider almost evaporates. Add the maple syrup to coat the apples. Add the apple brandy to deglaze the pan. Remove from heat, remove apples from the pan, and let cool. Store in the refrigerator until ready to assemble. 

Presentation: Spoon pastry cream into a pastry bag with a star tip and pipe filling into the baked tart shell. Add 1-apple ball to the center of the pastry cream. Place 4 tipsy raisins around the apple. Repeat with as many tarts as you will be immediately serving. Finish by placing tart(s) on a plate and lightly dust tart and plate with cinnamon powder. Serve with a small glass of the Westford Hill Distillers New World Aged Apple Brandy. 

We hope that you enjoy trying Luxury Experience's cocktail and culinary recipes, and that they inspire you to create your own recipes. Cheers, its cocktail time! 

Louis Chatey and Edward F. Nesta - photo by Luxury Experience
Master Distiller Louis Chatey and Edward F. Nesta

If you decide to visit Westford Hill Distillers, make sure that you allow extra time to enjoy their wonderful gift shop. Bring a picnic lunch or purchase some of their pre-packaged snacks to enjoy with a glass of wine or one of their fabulous cocktails on their porch, in the garden, or at a picnic table overlooking the pond. 

Westford Hill Distillers Exceptional Product Line: Eau-De-Vie: Framboise (Raspberry), Poire (Pear) William, Kirsch (Cherry), Fraise (Strawberries), Poire Prisonniere (Poire William with a whole pear presented in the bottle), New World Aged Apple Brandy, Gin, and Rime Vodka. 

For additional information as well as purchasing and touring information please visit their website: www.westfordhill.com. Westford Hill Distillers spirits are sold onsite as well domestically and internationally. 

Location and Tour Hours: Westford Hill Distillers is located 30 miles east of Hartford, Connecticut and 82 miles southwest of Boston. They are open Friday, Saturday, and Sunday through Christmas from 12:00 am until 4:00 pm.  The tours last approximately 45 minutes and are limited to 4 persons per tour, so be sure to call ahead and reserve your tour. The cost of tour and tasting is $12 per person. 

Westford Hill Distillers - Ashford, CT USA

Westford Hill Distillers
196 Chatey Road
Ashford, Connecticut 06378
United States
Telephone: +1-860-429-0464
Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it
Website: www.westfordhill.com
Facebook: www.Facebook.com/westordhilldistillers 

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