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Apple Brandy Liqueur

This image courtesy of Joseph DeLeo

Editor's Note: If you were previously under the impression that making liqueur required special alchemy, then you'll be pleasantly surprised with this recipe for Apple Brandy Liqueur. The three-ingredient beverage couldn't be easier to make, and is the perfect way to add a splash of fall flavors to some of your favorite beverages. Do you feel like sharing? You can give jars of your homemade liqueur to family and friends. Simply tie a pretty bow around the can and print a decorative label to place on the side of the jar, and you'll have a unique and creative gift that everyone will want. 

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.

Makes3 cups

CostModerate

Easy

Total Timea day or more

Make Ahead RecipeYes

OccasionCocktail Party

Recipe CourseBeverage

Five Ingredients or LessYes

Taste and TextureCrisp, Fruity

Type of DishAlcoholic Beverage, Beverage

Ingredients

  • 2 cups brandy or bourbon
  • 4 medium apples
  • 1 cup simple syrup (spiced, if desired)

Instructions

  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.)

  2. Slice the apples into approximately ¼-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.

  3. 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 hear, and add the mixture to the brandy and apples.

  4. 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.

Variations

* 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.

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Thanks for the recipe. I love making my own liqueurs, but more often than not, the recipe results have been lackluster, at best. I'll give this one a try when I can manage to sacrifice 2 cups of brandy or bourbon. That's asking a lot! But I'll mix a batch up for Christmas and report back with the results. I'm hopeful!

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