The ghost, ghouls and goblins are all gone and winter is coming. But before we get there, we have to travel through the wonderful Novemberland of Fall. As I contemplated what infusion to bring to the masses this fall, I grabbed a small bottle of what I thought was just Ocean Spray Apple Juice. Apples are easily my favorite fall fruit and I stay stocked up on not only apple juice, but fresh hard cider and have even ventured into making homemade hot cider a few times. All of the joys of apples circled through my mind as the cup met my lips…
You know that moment where you thought you had one drink and it’s actually another and your body is not ready. MY BODY WAS NOT READY. As it turns out I had grabbed the Ocean Spray Cranberry Juice [cocktail] that was next to the apple juice in the fridge. I had already opened this cranberry juice, but wanted apple. So I did the next best thing; opened them both and combined them in my solo cup goblet. A couple of sips in, I knew I had the idea for my next infusion.
750 mL spirit
12 oz. cranberries
2 medium apples (Gala)
1 cup of Sugar
Start by coring and slicing the apples into eight wedges and place them in a clean, dry jar. Put sugar and cranberries in a medium saucepan and cook on medium, stirring until sugar melts and the cranberries are still firm. Quickly add mixture to jar with the apples. Add spirit of choice and swirl to mix the melted sugar in before closing and sealing jar. Store this in a cool, dark place.
Unlike other infusions, there is not much variation in the infusion time for this infusion. Let the infusion sit in the spirit of choice for at least seven days, swirling daily. At this point it becomes a matter of personal taste. The apple flavor will be more prevalent to start, but longer it sits the deeper the cranberry flavor you will get. So taste testing daily after the first seven days is the key to finding the perfect point for this infusion.
Personally I prefer a heavier apple flavor with a subtle background of cranberry. Especially when done in a bourbon. The apple often cuts the bite that some Bourbons have while the cranberry provides a subtle contrast to the soft sweetness of the caramel and vanilla notes. Let’s hear how you prefer your infusion in the comment!