I applauded and wanted to honor the original and creative addition of regional flavors to this classic cocktail. I slowly assembled the ingredients over a matter of weeks from several different stores in the area, causing the first Arkansas Black Apples I picked up from our local supermarket to deteriorate before I found the Black Walnut Bitters. But, eventually, in a wonderful coincidence, I had gathered everything I needed and greatly enjoyed the refreshing fruit of my diligent efforts.
BLACK APPLE MULE
1/2 cup Arkansas Black Apple, diced
2 dashes black walnut bitters
1 1/2 ounces vodka
2 ounces ginger beer
apple slice for garnish
Fill a copper mug with ice. In a cocktail shaker, muddle the diced apple with lime juice and bitters. Shake mixture. Add vodka and shake again. Strain mixture into copper mug. Top with ginger beer and garnish with an apple slice.
Recipe adapted from The Northwest Arkansas Democrat Gazette, January 2015