Apple Brandy Liqueur
Seasonal Cocktail Companion
The first commercial distillery in America, Laird & Company, was and still is dedicated to apple brandy and applejack. So the saying should really go, “As American as apple brandy.” Use your favorite apples in this recipe, the tarter the better. I use Granny Smiths. You can add a splash of the liqueur to your favorite whiskey or whiskey cocktail, or substitute for any like-minded liquor in desserts.
Makes 3 cups
2 cups brandy or bourbon
4 medium apples
1 cup Simple Syrup (spiced, if desired)
1. Put the brandy into a large wide-mouth, sterilized jar. (You don’t have to cut the apples in round sections, but it sure does look ten times cooler.) Slice the apples into approximately 1/4-inch slices, reserving the cores. Fit as many slices as you can submerge into the brandy and secure with a small plate or nonporous object to keep the slices submerged.
2. Heat the simple syrup, adding the leftover cores and apple bits. Let the mixture simmer on low for up to 1 hour, turn off the heat, and add the mixture to the brandy and apples.
3. Let sit for 2 weeks in a cool, dark place, gently shaking daily, then double strain (preferably with a coffee filter) and transfer to a large, sterilized, airtight jar or wine bottle.
• If using apple brandy, omit the simple syrup.
• Making spiced apple brandy means you will have the easiest drink in the world on hand for surprise guests—just add hot water and lemon.
Use a combination of your favorite spices, but I keep it simple with a few whole cinnamon sticks and pieces of star anise.