5 Ingredients or Fewer

Apple Peel Bourbon

October 15, 2014
3 Ratings
Photo by James Ransom
  • Makes one large bottle of booze
Author Notes

This is the best, and booziest, way to use apple peels. I got the idea from Tara Duggan's "Root to Stalk" (Ten Speed, 2013). Tara suggests serving it over ice, topped with ginger beer and a big squeeze of lime -- and I agree. —Marian Bull

What You'll Need
  • 1 1/2 pounds apples, peeled
  • one 750 milliliter bottle of bourbon
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 cloves
  1. Peel the apples and reserve the peels. Stuff the peels into a large jar or bottle, then pour the bourbon over them. Add cinnamon stick and cloves and cover well.
  2. Let your booze sit for a few days at room temperature. Remove the cinnamon and cloves after a day or two, to keep them from overpowering everything else. After a week, strain out the apple peels and keep refrigerated; the apple-y bourbon will keep for at least a few weeks.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • kzmccaff
  • Hahahanita
  • toekneeray
  • Marian Bull
    Marian Bull
  • Claire Hoyt
    Claire Hoyt
Marian Bull

Recipe by: Marian Bull


20 Reviews

patricia G. November 6, 2020
I've been simmering red apple peels in water with a little maple syrup, honey or sugar until the infusion is apple-y and rosy. I strain the liquid and keep it refrigerated until the mood strikes for a hot apple toddy. I heat the infused liquid with a knob of butter and spike it with bourbon. It's good without bourbon, too.
milkjam December 4, 2015
I used one quart of packed apple peels and 2 cups of bourbon. Apples were a tasty mix of apples from farmers market bought in late October. Shook jar whenever I went by it for 1 week. Got 1 pint of very apple-ey booze. Perfect with some 7-up and ice.
Krysten F. October 13, 2015
Are there certain types of apples that work better for this recipe than others?
kzmccaff June 9, 2015
I just started a batch after making apple crisp out of my CSA apples! Can't wait to see how it turns out--so simple! What a great use of "throw-aways" like apple peels!
D V. November 16, 2014
I'm doing something similar. I used fruit, bourbon, and 2-3 tablespoons of sugar. I sliced fruit, added bourbon and sugar and shook well (to dissolve sugar) in quart sized mason jars. Let sit for at least a month in a dry, room temperature place. No refrigeration needed. I have fresh peaches in some and watermelon in other jars. A co-worker has done peaches, cherries, and he has done mangoes (all in separate jars). I will take a few to Thanksgiving dinner. If the family likes them, I will add ribbons to each jar and hand out as gifts at Christmas!
Hahahanita November 7, 2014
Wild Turkey and Four Roses are the only bourbons that are GMO free!
bmorecharmer November 5, 2014
This sounds right up my alley. I'm thinking of using this to make a cocktail on Thanksgiving. Any suggestions for doing so?
Marian B. December 14, 2014
Oh, try making it into a boulevardier! Sorry for not catching this sooner, but here's a recipe for you: https://food52.com/recipes/25945-boulevardier
Purple K. October 22, 2014
Marian, I love this. Thank you. Bourbon and apples are a delicious pairing. Here is how I use apple cores to make a sweet and sour syrup for cocktails and other things:
severill October 19, 2014
Does it really have to be refrigerated? Seems like there is enough booze to keep the apple peel from going bad.
Marian B. October 21, 2014
The original recipe I followed called for refrigeration -- I wasn't sure whether there was something about the apples that risked spoiling, but honestly, you're probably right! I'm keeping mine on my counter at the moment and going through it quickly enough that I'm not too worried.
Sandra S. October 18, 2014
Can you let the peels sit in the bourbon for 5 days, then add the spices for the remaining 2 days, and pull everything out together at the end? It just seems easier than fishing out the spices after two days.
Marian B. October 21, 2014
Probably! I'd say give it a try -- that's smart!
Paul M. October 15, 2014
Do you dunk the peels in boiling water to remove the wax?
Marian B. October 21, 2014
Nope! They don't make the bourbon waxy, in my experience.
Claire H. December 14, 2014
Im doing mine right now, and was concerned about the same thing. I just washed mine under warm water then rubbed dry with a kitchen towel. Wax comes right off (as well as a disturbing amount of dirt!)
toekneeray October 15, 2014
Any particular bourbon you recommend?
Karl R. October 19, 2014
My favorite is Buffalo Trace fwiw
Marian B. October 21, 2014
That's what we used! Maker's is also a solid bet here.
Marian B. October 21, 2014
Nope, just kidding, we used Knob Creek. But they're all good options!