Apple-Infused Bourbon Recipe

Update the age-old tradition of infusing fruits and herbs in alcohol by using scraps instead of whole fruits.

September/ October 2017

  • Fruit-infused alcohol is nothing new, but you can make an eqaully delicious version using food scraps as opposed to whole fruits.
    Photo by Clay McLachlan
  • Apple peel can be used to infuse into alcohol.
    Photo by Roman_Baiadin

Total Hands-On Time: 10 min

Preparation Time: 10 min

Yield: 3 servings

Infusing fruit and herbs into alcohol is a time-honored tradition, but using scraps instead of whole fruit may be a modern-day variation. (You can also use apple cores, though the seeds impart a hint of their tannic flavor.) Instead of bourbon, try brandy, whisky, rum or vodka; really, anything that sounds like it would be delicious with apples probably is. Then drink the spirit neat — the apple softens its rough edges — or use it in cocktails. Try a shot of Apple Peel Bourbon over ice topped with ginger beer and a generous squeeze of lime. Note: Make sure to use organic apples to avoid pesticide residues in the peels.


• 1- 750-milliliter bottle bourbon
• 4 whole cloves
• 1 cinnamon stick
• Peels from 1-1/2 to 2 pounds apples


1. Place bourbon in nonreactive container, such as a half-gallon glass jar. Add cloves, cinnamon, and just enough apple peels to fill jar without peels being exposed to air. Put on lid and shake jar.

2. Let peels infuse into alcohol at room temperature, shaking contents often, until flavor is pronounced, about 1 week. If you’d like a lighter cinnamon flavor, remove cinnamon after 1 to 2 days.

3. Strain through a fine-mesh strainer and keep in an airtight container, in the refrigerator or freezer, for several months.

For helpful whole plant tips visit: Eat the Whole Plant