You may have noticed that flavor-infused spirits have been particularly "on-trend" recently. Some of these have been good ideas (hello, Absolut Wild Tea!), and some, less so (bacon-flavored anything. Turns out there is such a thing as too much bacon). So today we're going to channel our inner Gwyneth Paltrows. But instead of advising you to condition your hair with komodo dragon placenta or wind down from a stressful day with some yoga in the sauna that overlooks your other, bigger sauna, I'm going to teach you to make something that'll come in handy next time you're at a bar and someone offers you a sip of their apple-infused spiced rum drink. You'll take a sip, nod almost too politely, and say, "Oh yes, this reminds me of the apple-infused spiced rum I make myself." You'll quickly and pointedly change the topic because you're falsely humble and also because you don't want to reveal how easy it actually is to make, which it is! I followed a recipe using BlackBeard Spiced Rum, which, with tasty vanilla and caramel flavors, is a perfect pick for this.
Note: I adjusted the recipe to a little under a third of what the original calls for, mostly because I had neither the means nor the muscle strength to purchase and carry home seven liters of BlackBeard. If you're hosting a large group of drinkers (or a small group of problem drinkers), use the original. Otherwise, use some approximation of the quantities I note below.
Step 1: Gather your ingredients: 7 liters of BlackBeard Spiced Rum (I used 2), 9 Fuji or Gala apples (I overpeeled but ended up using a total of 3. The others will make a suitable vehicle for peanut butter snackage), 3 scented cloves (I used 1), a large glass jar with a tight-fitting lid, and coring/peeling utensils as you see fit.
Step 2: Remember to remove the little child-safety plastic wrap on the peeler before making multiple frustrated attempts to peel. It happened to a friend.
Step 3: Core and peel 9 apples (2 if you're following my adjustment). I only included this picture because giiirl, look at my nails.
Step 4: Stab an additional apple with 3 scented cloves. If you're using my adjustment, after you make a little mouth-less face with the 3 cloves (look how cute!), remember to remove 2 right away so you don't have to remember while you're writing this post and have to fish them out.
Step 5: Pour the rum into your glass jar, add the apples, close the jar, and let sit for at least 10 days in a cool, dark place. You'll probably find yourself going to a dark place of your own as you pine for a sip over the course of 10 days, but no cheating! Letting them swim around in there will be the difference between an apple-infused spiced rum and just wet apples. When you're ready to drink it, remove and discard the apple with the cloves (keep the others in there). Store in refrigerator — it'll keep for a month.
How to enjoy? On the rocks or in a simple Apple Hook Infusion cocktail: 2 ounces of your apple infusion shaken up with one ounce of apple juice, half an ounce of lime juice, and half an ounce of simple syrup, and strained into an ice-ﬁlled glass.
Images by Dann Berg