Growing up in the wilds of western Massachusetts, we had apples. I mean, apples. Seriously, until you’ve seen a beautiful, fulled peak of performance apple tree in full fruitiness, you really can’t appreciate how many apples one might end up with.
Pies and cobblers and a sort of mutant hybrid of apple pie filling and apple sauce were household favorites. Back then, we also had a few rabbits and if there’s one thing a rabbit enjoys, it’s leftover apple peels.
Being all citified, now apple peels get discarded. It makes me ache inside, just a little. So! In response I experimented with ways of making a rich Apple-Infused Vodka using only the leftovers.
Apple seeds are mildly poisonous, and that little stem scares me, so be sure not to include them. Otherwise, go nuts.
- The peels from 5–15 apples, preferably organic granny smiths that were washed thoroughly beforehand.
- Cut and discard any blemishes from the peels.
- Pack the peels firmly into a jar. Fill jar with vodka until all peels are covered by about 1/2″ and shake well. Repack peels if necessary.
- Store in a cool, dark place for 4–6 weeks. Give the jar a shake once a week or so, but be sure to repack the peels if any become exposed to air.
- Pour through a coffee filter and store in a cool, dark place. Will not last long BECAUSE IT IS SO DELICIOUS.
Note: It seems that the long infusion time breaks down much of the tartness. If you are looking for “sour-apple vodka” then add a bit of citric acid (the powder can be bought in most fancy food stores) or some lemon juice.
Because this is heavy on the peels, the infusion has an added earthiness that’s quite nice.
I haven’t experimented too much with it yet, but it’s tasty enough to drink straight up as a drier apple martini, or if you want something a bit more refreshing try this:
- 2 oz. apple infused vodka
- 2 oz. cranberry juice
- soda water
Fill tall glass with ice and add first two ingredients. Top with soda water and garnish with a lime wedge.
Any other ideas?