Old Fashioned Riff: Church's Mass Appeal - Imbibe Magazine Subscribe + Save

Church’s Mass Appeal: An Old Fashioned Riff

Old Fashioned riff: Church Mass Appeal

An Imbibe 75 Place to Watch’s sustainable take on a classic.

This elegant Old Fashioned riff is a favorite among the cocktail devout at Baltimore bar Church,
one of our Imbibe 75 Places to Watch for 2023. The apple tincture utilizes fruit pulp from making a syrup that would otherwise go to waste—use the strained apple syrup in creative takes of your favorite cocktails.


  • 2 1/2 oz. rye whiskey (Church uses Rittenhouse)
  • 1/2 oz. grains of paradise syrup
  • 4 dashes apple tincture
  • 2 dashes orange bitters
  • Tools:barspoon
  • Glass:rocks


Combine all of the ingredients in a glass filled with a single large ice cube. Stir to combine, and serve.

Grains of Paradise Syrup Using a food processor or blender, pulverize 2 grams of grains of paradise. In a saucepan over medium heat, combine 1/4 cup water with 1/4 cup granulated sugar, and stir until sugar dissolves. Remove from the heat, and add the grains of paradise, letting the mixture steep as the syrup cools to room temperature. Strain the syrup, and keep refrigerated for up to 2 weeks.

Apple Tincture Peel, core, and thinly slice 2 Golden Delicious apples. Add the apples to a saucepan with a dash of salt, 8 oz. of water, and 8 oz. of granulated sugar, and cook over medium-low heat until the sugar has dissolved and the apples have cooked down to a texture resembling applesauce. Strain off the syrup and reserve for another use. Take the remaining solids and add to a sealable container, then cover the solids with vodka. Seal the container and let the mixture rest for three days. Using a fine strainer and cheesecloth, strain off the tincture and bottle for use. Keeps refrigerated for up to 1 month.

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