The story of the origin of green apple, or what is called the Granny Smith variety, is as interesting as the drinks that you can make from it
Imagine a fruit named after you! That way, Maria Ann Smith is one among millions. Simply because the green apple that we know today has been named after her. As far back as 1868, Maria Ann — addressed Granny Smith by her near ones — came up with the variety from a cultivar (a plant chosen for certain distinctiveness that can be maintained by propagation). It was a chance seedling, believed to be a hybrid of the European wild apple with pollens from the domestic apple.
What this Australian got from it were apples with not red but light green skin, its flesh luscious but not as sweet as the red variety in taste but with a citrus flavour. She continued to cultivate them in her hometown Eastwood in South Wales, and before long the variety got known as Granny Smith. It travelled to New Zealand, then to the U.K. in 1935, and to the U.S. as late as 1972. Today, Eastwood celebrates the origin of the variety and its gift to the world by hosting the Granny Smith Festival every October.
With globalisation, Granny Smith has arrived in our part of the world, too. And we are loving it — in salads, dips and, yes, drinks too. Particularly in summer, the crunchy, citrus fruit is a pure delight. Being more of a guzzler than a gourmand, I think of a drink made from green apple. It takes me to restaurant Urban Pind in N-block market, Greater Kailash Part 2, New Delhi.
The bartender, Pardeep, rolls out for me three green apple martinis. “Ideal for a summer evening,” he says. The first one, a simple green apple martini, needs very few ingredients. In a shaker, he takes a few blobs of ice, pours 45 ml vodka, 15 ml lime juice, 10 ml green apple syrup and gives a hard shake before pouring the concoction into a chilled glass.
In the second variety, Apple Midori Martini, Pardeep pours 15 ml Triple Sec to a cocktail shaker laden with ice cubes. Then pours a hint of lime juice, 30 ml vodka, 10 ml Midori liqueur and wraps it with 15 ml green apple syrup. A few hard shakes later, the brew is poured into a chilled glass.
His third offering, Apple Diamond Martini, has whiskey, 45 ml, plus 20 ml Red Bull, 15 ml Triple Sec, a touch of lime juice and 15 ml green apple syrup. With ice cubes, the mix is shaken vigorously in a cocktail shaker before decanting it into a chilled Martini glass.
Each drink is as different in colour and in taste, obviously. While the Green Apple Martini is pale green and tastes like any other smooth martini with the flavour of the fruit soothingly dominating, the Apple Midori Martini is a tad sweet because of the Midori liqueur; its colour a vibrant dark green. The whiskey-laced Martini has a brownish-yellow hue and the aroma of the green apple syrup mixes pretty well with the strong flavour of the whiskey.
All of them, as Pardeep says, are right for the season. Though I just couldn’t hold back the urge to puree the real fruit and make a concoction. The fruit pureed with a few strands of coriander and mixed with vodka comes out real nice. Sipping it, I send up a thank you note to Granny Smith. May her soul rest in peace.