The lifeguard did not see his shadow this month, which means that the party pools will soon open, ushering in the long Las Vegas summer. Till then, however, the nights are still chilly. Beyond the nightly happy hour (4-8 p.m.) and educational Tuesday tastings (4- 6 p.m.), Platinum Hotel sous chef Tyler Ridgeway keeps his guests cozy with his Hot Apple Pie, a cold-weather warmer with all the stuff of winter: cider, macerated apples and oranges, whole cloves, cinnamon sticks and bourbon, which reduces down to a richly sweet drink, served hot from an urn at the bar.
“Apple Pie is a pastoral fall drink, usually made at apple harvest to preserve excess yield,” Ridgeway explains of the inspiration for the cocktail he created with bar supervisor Daniel Carreon. “The traditional cocktail generally included partially fermenting the apples into cider, then fortifying the cider with grain alcohol to retain residual apple sweetness. The finished product was infused with ‘Christmas’ spices and bottled to be enjoyed warmed or cold another day.”
Make a batch, then think chilly thoughts.
Hot Apple Pie
As served in Stir Lounge at the Platinum Hotel, $12
In a medium-to-large saucepan, bring 1½ quarts apple juice to a simmer, add 7 cinnamon sticks, 2 whole cloves, the peel of one orange, 4 apples (quartered and blended to a paste) and 4 ounces brown-sugar syrup. Let simmer for 20- 30 minutes. Once the cinnamon has bloomed, stir in 33 ounces Makers Mark bourbon and simmer for another 10 minutes. (Do not boil.) Serve in an 8-ounce toddy glass, garnished with an orange wheel and a whole cinnamon stick.
Syrup: In a small pan, bring 2 ounce honey, 2 ounces brown sugar and 4 ounces water to a boil and simmer until sugar is fully dissolved. Cool before use.