You can make an Appletini with "schnapps" or its cousins if you want a drink that tastes like a sour apple sweet-tart. As Dr. John Dorian from the TV show Scrubs says, "easy on the tini." I have a friend that likes Appletinis so I set out to find a recipe that tastes like an apple but without all the artificial flavors that bottom shelf apple schnapps usually bring.
The key is finding an apple liqueur that is fresh, clean, and natural tasting. It needs to have some sweetness to counteract the vodka, but not so much as to bury the apple flavor. I looked for awhile and finally settled on Stirrings Apple liqueur. This stuff meets the criteria. The first clue was that it has the color of apples--pale green (not neon green). It also has plenty of natural apple flavor, fruity sweetness, and a clean, tart finish.
The vodka part was easier. Just choose a high quality vodka that you like. For me, that would be Effen or Belvedere. Just make sure the vodka is good stuff or it will mar the schnapps and ruin the drink.
Often, an Appletini will have a sweetener like sour mix, Triple Sec, or Cointreau. For this recipe, this is not necessary. It would only make the drink too sweet. The liqueur provides all the fruity sweetness we need.
How do you make your Appletinis?