Applejack is a brandy made from fermented cider. Spirits distilled from fruit beverages are more rare these days because they cost considerably more to produce than grain-based spirits. In fact, applejack - even Laird's - is rarely 100 percent apple brandy any more. Just before aging the apple brandy in barrels, distillers now cut it with neutral grain spirits (vodka) to a strength of around 40 percent alcohol. Laird's Applejack may be the closest thing we have to a national beverage; in fact, it is United States licensed distillery No. 1, dating back to before the Revolutionary War.
Applejack producers use eating apples, resulting in a sweeter, less subtle spirit—which is why blending the fruit brandy with regular spirits makes sense. However, applejack's sweetness is perceived as opposed to actual, a lot like the taste you get from Jack Daniel's. Instead of bourbon's maple and oak flavors, with applejack you catch soft tones of apple, like walking past a giant apple tree on a fall day.
Serve in a wine glass or champagne flute, and top with cold ginger ale or sparkling wine. Applejack also makes a wonderful hot toddy; just add hot water and lemon, or even better, warm cider.