Calvados Cocktail

Calvados is an apple brandy famously made in the Normandy region of France. It’s American counterpart is called Applejack, which in a pinch I suppose you could substitute, but only in a pinch. The Calvados Cocktail first appears in “The Savoy Cocktail Book”, published in 1930 by Harry Craddock, the bartender at London’s famous Savoy hotel. That recipe called for using as much orange bitters as there it was Cointreau. I felt that was just a tad overbearing, so I’ve pulled it back to the more modest amount you see here, as well as using Angostura Aromatic Bitters instead of orange. But feel free to try it the original way if you want!


1 1/2 oz Calvados

1 1/2 oz orange juice

3/4 oz triple sec

2 dashes Angostura Aromatic Bitters


Shake with ice.

Strain into a cocktail glass.


blair frodelius 11 May 2009
7:41 am

One thing I’ve noticed is that if you use fresh squeezed orange juice as opposed to juice from a carton, the huge amount of 0.75oz orange bitters works quite well. 

Honestly, the first time I tried one of these, I thought that I was going to hate it.  However, the overall effect of using so much bitters was like that of enjoying an IPA or hoppy beer.

I’d suggest trying this with the new Angostura Orange bitters as well.


Blair Frodelius

Robert Hess 11 May 2009
8:55 am

In all honesty, I was “supposed” to use Angostura orange bitters in this drink, but I guess in the flurry of filming I just sort of lost track of things…. duho!

Kimberly Patton-Bragg 12 May 2009
4:47 pm

I also enjoy heavily bittered drinks as well. At the end of the night and I’m done with mixing for the masses and it’s “my turn” as it were, one of my go-to drinks is The Burgos. It’s from the Bar Hemingway in Paris. 2 oz. cognac over ice with six healthy dashes of angostura. Bittersweet and strong, cool and simply elegant - it’s a great way to calm down - the adrenaline -laden shift filled with broken glasses and snap-happy guests. And they’re right - it’s damn good with a cigar (which I enjoy from time to time.)

Nik 4 Oct 2009
8:56 pm


I am just getting into cocktails so I have been searching for a less “boozey” cocktail to transition myself with.  As of now I can enjoy all the long drink style drinks but the 4 oz and less category has been too intense for me. 

I made this drink twice.  The first time I used Cointreau and although I could appreciate the flavors the drink was still a tad too intense for me.  The second time I used stirrings Triple-Sec, which is a non-alcholic triple sec.  At first I placed this in the sour mix/mojito mix category but its made with very straightforward honest ingredients.  I started to wonder what the place of triple sec really is, that is, does the alcohol contribute anything other than intensity.  If good orange flavor and sweetness are the main functions I dont see why non-alcoholic triple secs wont work just fine.  The second time I made the drink, I used the stirrings triple sec, and the flavor was honestly still very high quality but the lack of cointreau booze put the alcohol level at a perfect balance for me. 

What is your opinion on such “high quality” non alcoholic triple secs?

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