The City Magazine Since 1975

Honey Hole

By Jackson Holland, Cocktail Club With warming thoughts of whiskey and apple flavors for the cooler months, Cocktail Club general manager Jackson Holland created an elevated take on hot apple cider. He paired Jack Daniel’s smooth and sweet Tennessee Honey with his own easy-to-make apple-ginger reduction of fresh apples; ginger “for a little spicy heat,” he says; and red tea, “which adds herbal and earthy notes.” And though this CFW creation is meant to be served on the rocks, Jackson says he has served it warm on the occasional “cold” night in Charleston, keeping it at the ready in a crock pot as it fills the bar with a delicious aroma.  
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2 oz. Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey
1 oz. apple-ginger reduction (see below)
1 oz. apple juice
Splash lemon juice
Apple skin twist for garnish

For the apple-ginger reduction:
1/2 gal. water
10-12 bags red tea (rooibos/African red preferred)
Splash of olive oil
Fresh ginger (a piece about the size of a man’s thumb), peeled and roughly chopped
1/2 cup dry white wine
6 apples (2 granny smith, 2 pink lady, and 2 red delicious), cored, seeded, and roughly chopped
1 spice bag (cheesecloth) filled with 2 broken cinnamon sticks, 4-5
cloves, and 4-5 allspice berries



Pour all ingredients into a shaker filled with ice. Shake and strain into a double old fashioned glass filled with ice. Garnish with apple skin twist.

For the apple-ginger reduction:
Pour water into a large stockpot over high heat and bring to a boil. Add tea bags, turn off heat, and let stand. In a second stockpot over medium heat, pour a splash of olive oil and saute ginger for approximately five minutes. Stir in wine, apples, and spice bag and cover, stirring occasionally, for five to 10 minutes, or until apples have softened and are releasing their juices. Remove tea bags from first pot. Pour tea into second pot with apples. Increase heat to medium-high and reduce for 20 to 30 minutes. Remove spice bag and let cool slightly. Purée the reduction with a hand blender, or in small batches in a blender. Strain through a fine mesh sieve. The apple-ginger reduction will keep, covered in the refrigerator, for up to a week, or longer if mixed with Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey.