It might be a little early for a cocktail, but at least this way you can get your ingredients ready for home time.
(Photography Dieu Tan)
THIS RECIPE MAKES ME ANGRY BECAUSE IT IS A BAD RECIPE!
Look, if you’re going for a liqueur, this is fine. But then suggesting mixing this with just ginger ale? Come on. This is basically schnapps. Also: a 24 hour infusion for something tough like an apple? Even a cooked apple is not going to infuse that fast. You might as well just use the spices and skip the apple entirely, because all you’re going to do is 1. cook out some nice slimy pectin into your bourbon and 2. if you just say “it’s apple spice bourbon!” people will say “OH WOW I CAN REALLY TASTE THE APPLE” because your tastebuds can be overruled by your brain really, really easily in that regard.
HERE IS A FIXED VERSION OF THE RECIPE, IF YOU ACTUALLY WANT A BOURBON THAT IS FOR MIXING RATHER THAN BEING SHNAPPS AND TASTES LIKE APPLE AND SPICE INSTEAD OF KIND OF A VAGUELY CINNAMON AND WHATEVER:
Get a nice big mason jar. Plastic containers can absorb and leech flavors, so glass is kind of a must here. You’ll probably need 2 or 3 of them if you’re going to use a whole bottle of bourbon. If you aren’t, well, use as many jars as you like.
Peel and core and chop some apples. No, I don’t know how many. Apples are different sizes. Figure it out. Yes, you do have to peel them; the flavors won’t osmosis out nicely through a (most likely heavily vegetable waxed) peel. You need enough to completely pack your jar(s) almost to the top. Holy shit, that’s a lot of apples? Oh, I’m sorry, I didn’t realize you wanted crap-ass not-actually-apple-flavored-at-all bourbon. Get over it. Cooking them won’t really help here, as all it will really do is release slimy-ass pectin. Caramelizing them doesn’t add that much flavor that isn’t easier to add with some brown sugar at the end. Yes, at the end, because you want to make sure the proof is high enough to keep any bacteria, mold, and fungus nice and dead. Optionally, at this point, you could also peel and slice some ginger and toss it in to get some nice spicy ginger flavors in there as well. Don’t worry about overdoing it; you can use a whole hand of ginger for a whole bottle of bourbon, and it’ll marry well with the other spices and the sweetness.
Fill your apple-packed jars full. You may notice not very much bourbon actually fits in the jars. That’s because there are a lot of apples in there. That’s why you have 3 jars. You should have listened to me earlier. Stow your jars somewhere cool and dark (or at least somewhere that doesn’t experience a ton of temperature change) and let it go for at least a month.
Yes, a month. I direct you to my previous comments regarding crap-ass shnapps.
No, no spices yet. If you add spices now it’ll turn into an intolerable cinnabomb and vanilla extract. Sidenote: get some everclear and split some vanilla beans, and refill your vanilla extract that way. It’ll take about a month to make serviceable extract, depending on the quality of your beans and the ratio of bean to extract, but the longer you let it go, the better / stronger it’ll taste. Look how fucking good I am to you, I’m giving you recipes nested inside recipes like a goddamn russian nesting doll.
So after a month (or longer) you’ve got some lovely appley bourbon. Great. Taste it. If you want it applier, let it sit longer. You can let it sit for months if you want, but I generally just set a date and say “fuck it” at that date because I am impatient.
Once your bourbon is appley enough, you can toss in some spices. (You’ll note we’re not pulling out the apples. That’s because apples are delicious and we want maximum appleyness here.) Cinnamon sticks are actually the shittiest part of the cinnamon tree, so I recommend powdered here. Maybe a teaspoon. If you insist on using the sticks, whatever, toss one in. You’re not done. Get some ginger, if you didn’t add some with your apples. Nutmeg and clove are good too, but be fucking careful with the cloves, as they can get overwhelming really fast. Just a pinch if you’re using powder; just one to three actual whole cloves if you’re using whole spices. If you have a generic apple pie mix that has all these spices and mace and lemon peel or whatever, shit, toss a teaspoon or two of that in. If you have a vanilla bean, toss it in. If you think vanilla beans are expensive and would rather use extract at the end like I do because it is literally the exact same process except one of them happened in a factory and the other is going to be happening under your sink and you’re not boogie enough to go out and buy an actual vanilla bean at this point, fuck it. If you wanna get real creative and toss in some lemon peel or cardamom pods or, fuck, a scotch bonnet (don’t do jalapenos, they taste like green peppers in an infusion) then go nuts. Don’t overdo it, though. You waited a month for that apple flavor, don’t overwhelm it. (Also note that any green herb shouldn’t go longer than 24-48 hours: after that period, the chlorophyll starts to leach out and it gets bitter and tastes like grass instead of basil or rosemary or whatever. Not that you should put any herbs into this, but it’s an important warning.)
Let the spices steep for a week. You can shake it if you really want, but it’s not gonna move a whole lot. You packed it super full, remember? After your week of waiting, taste it. Does it taste good? Spiced enough for you? If not, let it sit a few more days and taste again. If it tastes too strong, well, shit. I’ve actually never had this happen, but diluting it at the end with more boubon is not a problem. Once you’re happy with the taste, you’re going to whip out a container and put a coffee filter on top. If you used ground spices this coffee filter is absolutely essential. Gritty little bits of spice are not tasty. Filter your shit through a coffee filter. Don’t you fucking dare throw away those apples. They are going to make the best pie of your life later. I hope you used cooking apples. If you didn’t, I don’t know, make applesauce. No, I’m not giving you a recipe, I’m just telling you that you need to make something with these delicious fucking apples. It’s already spiced and everything, just add some sugar and bang it in a pie crust and look, fucking pie. Or you can just eat the fruit and / or use it to garnish drinks, but be careful: osmosis, you may recall, goes both ways, so those are some boozy goddamn apples. One you have it strained, you will wonder why there is not very much of it. You probably should have used a full bottle.
Give it another taste. If you like how it is now, add your dash of vanilla extract if you want and call it a day. I like to stop here. Mixing this with ginger beer or ale is delicious, and the soda will sweeten it up. If you want to make cute little martinis with it with baileys or whatever, then you should probably sweeten it a little, like so:
Make some simple syrup: 1 part brown sugar, 1 part water (or apple juice, if you must). Remove a little water and toss in a teaspoon or two of vanilla extract if you skipped that vanilla bean. Cook this til all the sugar is dissolved. Let it cool before mixing it with your liquor.
There. Now you’ve made an actually flavorful apple spice bourbon infusion, and not some oversweetened, overcomplicated schnapps. This retains the proof of the bourbon and adds real flavors instead of counting on your brain to add in the apple flavor where your tastebuds are never going to actually find it.
Melissa’s recipe is much, much better. Much better.
Black-Spiced Rum Eggnog
Makes 6–8 servings
Ingredients & Preparation
- 4 cups whole milk
- 1 cup half + half
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 4 oz. black-spiced rum
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepot and bring to a simmer, stirring continuously for about 5 minutes. It’s important to stir regularly to keep the milk from burning or a skin from forming on the top. Turn up the heat, keep stirring until the milk begins to gently boil, then remove from the heat and set aside.
- 6 egg yolks
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
Whisk the egg yolks with the sugar and vanilla in a stand mixer or with an electric mixer until the yolks are glossy and pour in a smooth ribbon. Add a cup of the milk mixture to the yolks and whisk until fully incorporated. Continue adding the milk in one-cup portions to the yolks until they are thoroughly combined. It’s important to do this slowly — called tempering — so the hot milk does not cook the yolks. Once you’re done mixing, place the bowl in the refrigerator to chill for at least one hour.
When the milk and yolk mixture is ready, pull it out of the fridge and set aside.
- 6 egg whites
- 1 tablespoon sugar
Whisk the whites and sugar together until medium peaks form. Add about a quarter of the whites to the yolk and milk mixture and whisk gently until fully incorporated, being careful not to whisk the air out of the whites. Add the remaining whites in three more parts to the yolks and milk. Once fully mixed, refrigerate until thoroughly chilled before serving.
A little extra … the perfect topping:
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon + 2 teaspoons black-spiced rum
Whisk ingredients together in a chilled mixing bowl until medium peaks form. When serving the eggnog, top with this delicious cream and a dash of nutmeg.
Cual es tu favorito? el mio (de esta lista) es el Hawaiano, y mitad/mitad!
There are few beverages I enjoy more than limeade.
A recipe for a cherry limeade that looks just as light and gentle and the one above can be found here, and a slightly
FOUND. Top 10 Holiday Drinks
Mele Kalikimaka Martini
When life gets tough, the lush get drunk. Hey, you might as well.
Marvel Cocktail: Recipe
Moar Harry Potter cocktails!!!
[Clockwise from top: the Draco Malfoy, the Luna Lovegood, the Severus Snape, and the Neville Longbottom. Those recipes are here. There are also Harry, Ron, & Hermione versions here.]
So it’s 3:50 in the afternoon and being the boozehound I am I have already delved deep into the world of mixed spirits and emerged with my opinions on these cocktails.
These recipes are fantastic. They are much, much better than the 20 HP-Inspired cocktails that have been floating around for a while. Whilst those are not wholly objectionable, they rely entirely too much on an overabundance of schnapps, are neither particularly subtle nor particularly interesting, and get a bit of a pass for being fandom artifacts. (I mean, really. Creme de Banana and Jägermeister? It’s the worst of college bartending.)
These, on the other hand, stand up just fine without a fandom reference. They wouldn’t seem out of place in any of the numerous high-toned, botique cocktail bars that have been gaining (well-deserved) traction from New York to San Francisco, nor would they seem out of place in an addition of The Atlantic’s “Drink” column. Seemingly ripped from the golden age of cocktails, they could go toe to toe with dizzying concoctions like the Old Cuban or sturdy classics like the Whiskey Sour*, and hold their own.
As for how well they represent the characters for which they’re named… The Neville Longbottom, Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley all do a marvelous job of matching up with their namesakes, I think; the Draco Malfoy and the Luna Lovegood are a bit more touch and go, but basically seem right to me. I honestly don’t know how I feel about the the Harry Potter. I don’t think the Severus Snape particularly matches its namesake (personally I’d never go for a rum base if I were trying to represent Snape, but perhaps that’s because I conceptualize rum as an essentially friendly, jocular alcohol), but as a drink on it’s own its really quite fabulous.
If you do go for the Severus Snape, you can get away with leaving out the Lavender bitters (not a brilliant idea, but you can get away with it), but do not under any circumstances get adventurous and try substituting the Fernet Branca for anything else.
If you go for the Hermione Granger, listen to the advice that comes with the recipe: do not get cheap sloe gin. Sloe gin is strong, finicky and difficult (much like Hermione herself), and you do not want a bad one. I’m not saying you have to get the Plymouth… No, I am. If you make this, get the Plymouth. And “brut” is really not a suggestion with the champagne; a sweet bubbly will absolutely kill this.
Last but not least, I can not urge you strongly enough to try the Neville Longbottom. It is exactly like its namesake: deceptively simple but containing surprising depth, and quite possibly the best of the lost.
*Yes, Esquire makes me want to vomit, but that’s still my all-time favorite whiskey sour recipe (resist the fruit is such under-used advice, and the cracked ice and chilled glass notes are critical), and the info about the Dizzy Sour and Hari Kari make it worth the link.