Fall Cocktails: An Appletini 1 year in the making

October 24, 2012


Actually, a couple of years in the making. Two years ago, while peeling a bunch of apples for this meal, I decided I certainly couldn’t waste all of the peel. I happened to have a full bottle of Stoli vodka, so I decided to drop the peels into an empty bottle, cover them with vodka, and let it sit for a couple of months.

A couple of months came and went , and it was near January before I poured the liquor through a filter into a fresh bottle and put it in the freezer to mellow out. Usually, when I flavor vodka, I let the ingredient sit in the bottle with the vodka for 1 to 2 months, then I let the filtered vodka sit in the freezer for another 1 to 2 months. However, this time, I completely forgot about my apple-laced vodka, and around a year later, I stumbled upon the bottle. Forget flavored vodka, at this point, this was a lovely, apple-flavored liqueur. Somewhat syrupy in texture, but tasting of super-saturated fresh apple. I decided this would make the perfect fall cocktail. Not a sickly, super-sweet, neon green appletini, but a refined drink the color of apple cider.

The perfect garnish? A cross section of a fresh, in-season apple. A beautiful star forms in the center, where the seeds have been, and the added scent of fresh apple takes this drink over the top.

Does it take a ridiculous amount of time for this cocktail to come together? Well, to make the liqueur, yes. The actual cocktail comes together in mere seconds.

Fresh Fall Appletini
Makes 1

2.5 ounces apple liqueur (see instructions below)
1.5 ounce vodka
Splash of calvados (optional)
1 slice of apple, taken cross-wise from center

Fill your martini glass with ice and water to chill. Dump ice and water.

Combine liqueur and vodka (and calvados, if using) in a shaker with large cubes of ice. Shake, and empty into your prepared chilled martini glass. Garnish with cross-section of apple. Enjoy!

Apple liqueur

1 750 ml bottle vodka (I prefer Stolichnaya, and I cannot advise on any other kind)
Peels from 4 to 10 apples

Combine ingredients in an empty, wide-mouthed jar or bottle. Let sit in a cool, dark place for 2 to 3 months (but not the refrigerator), shaking occasionally.

Filter the vodka into a fresh bottle by pouring through cheesecloth. Place in the freezer for 6 – 9 months.

At the end of this time, if you see sediment in the vodka, filter once more, then drink!

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