The Orcadian Hard Cider: Highland Park Single Malt Scotch Whisky, Apple-Pear Pumpkin Cider, and Orange Bitters

Adapted by
November 2010
Yield: 1 Cocktail


Apple-Pear Cider
Organic apples
Organic pears
¼ liter freshly squeezed orange juice
½ liter cranberry juice
2 medium oranges, sliced
3 lemons, sliced
1 packed cup brown sugar
10 cloves
6 3-inch long cinnamon sticks
1 lemon twist
2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons ground nutmeg
2 tablespoons ground ginger
Apple-Pear Pumpkin Cider
½ pumpkin
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon
To Assemble and Serve
2 ounces Highland Park Single Malt Scotch Whisky
2 dashes orange bitters
lemon twist


For the Apple-Pear Cider:
Leave the apples and pears to mature for a week at room temperature, then remove the bad pears and apples—those that are too soft. Core and slice the good fruits and core and crush the bad fruits into a pulp. Use a food processor to blend the good fruits and bad fruits together. Strain the mixture through a chinois. Put the pulp inside a square of cheesecloth, gather the edges around the pulp to form a bundle, and then squeeze the pulp over the strained cider to extract any remaining juices. Do it multiple times to extract the maximum amount of juice possible. Store the juice for 2 days to create a cider.

Once the cider has rested for 2 days, put it in a large pot with the orange juice, cranberry juice, orange slices, lemon slices, and brown sugar. Put the cloves, cinnamon sticks, and lemon twist on a double thickness of cheesecloth. Gather the corners of the cheesecloth and tie with kitchen string to form a bag. Add the bundle to the pot, add the ground cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger, and put the pot over a medium heat. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer the mixture uncovered for 15 to 20 minutes. Discard the bundle of spices and remove fruit with a slotted spoon. Preheat an immersion circulator to 140°F. Seal the cider in cryovac bags. Put the bags in the immersion circulator and cook for 72 hours. Remove the bags from the heat and chill in an ice bath.  

For the Apple-Pear Pumpkin Cider:
To infuse the cider with pumpkin peel, peel and cut the pumpkin into cubes. Pour the apple-pear cider into a mixing bowl, add the brown sugar and cinnamon, and mix thoroughly to incorporate the sugar. Put the pumpkin into a shallow container and pour the marinade over it. Seal the mixture in cryovac bags, expelling as much air as possible. Submerge the bags in a large pot filled with water and cook over a low heat for about 3 hours.  Remove the pumpkin from the bag, strain the cider, and chill.

To Assemble and Serve:
Pour the whisky and 2 ounces of the apple-pear pumpkin cider into a mixing glass. Add the orange bitters. Shake very well and serve in a rocks glass. Garnish with the lemon twist and grate a little nutmeg over the top.