The Winter Angel: Your new favorite fall drink

Calvados and fresh apple juice come together in this serious upgrade from the appletini

Published October 19, 2010 1:01AM (EDT)

I first heard about the drink named 'The Winter Angel ' in a Graham Greene novel. It is a classic cocktail, invented in the 1920s, and I couldn't resist making it because it uses one of my favorite brandies, Calvados.

Calvados has been made since the 8th century. It is a cider brandy or eau de vie, that is often made from over 100 varieties of apples. Each sip carries the taste of a barrel of apples, there is a hint of pear in there too, that adds to the ringing apple acidity as it hits the top of the palate. The concentrated taste of apples is so powerful in this brandy, it basically makes everything mixed with it taste like an apple orchard.

As my own ancestors came from Normandy, each time I use Calvados in my cooking or when I drink it on a cold night, I picture a large wooden table of relatives, sipping the brandy from tiny glasses, celebrating the apple harvest and after a few more shots, dancing. I like to think that I am genetically wired to drink Calvados, and that somewhere within my cells are their memories and the ability drink this versatile and delicious potion without too many ill effects the next day.

Warning: Drinking calvados may cause giggling or the urge to hug. It has been noted over the centuries that when drinking this brandy with others, love occurs.


  • 2 1/2 ounces vodka
  • 1 1/2 ounces Calvados (or other apple brandy)
  • 2 ounces freshly juiced apples, or store bought apple juice


  1. Fill a martini shaker with ice, add all ingredients and shake gently to mix. Pour into a cold martini glass, and garnish with a slice of apple.

By Diana Adams

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