Wednesday, May 18, 2011


Happy Hour: DIY Apple-Infused Spiced Rum

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.

Previously: Port Cocktails.

Diana Vilibert is a freelance drinker and writer in Brooklyn.

Images by Dann Berg

34 Comments / Post A Comment

Ms. Information

Question: Where did you get that beautiful jar?

Diana Vilibert

@Ms. Information: Target! Around $10, I think.

Ms. Information

@Diana Vilibert Of course. Thanks!

Tammy Pajamas

@Ms. Information I have that jar and was going to use it to make a terrarium, but now....
I think I got mine at Cost Plus World Market.


@Diana Vilibert JUST A WORD TO THE WISE - sometimes Target sells things that are not fit to store food in, but, they look like you could store food in it? Or make something in it? Or eat out of it? But, buyer beware. This happened to....uh....a friend. It's happened to a friend multiple times....


Bacon-infused whiskey is AWESOME, in the right drink. (To be fair, my feelings about bacon pretty much fall in line with Ron Swanson's).


@km1312 Bacon-infused vodka for bloody marys! Yum!! (But I, too, share your Swansonesque proclivities.)

And Diana, the nails are adorable!


@DorothyMantooth The bacon-flavored vodka I tried tasted like the smell of vomit. But maybe that's because it was warm, and in shot form? And I am the classiest?


@harpo Ack! Warm vodka. Ack ack ack!!
(But you're still classy to me, darlin'.)

Tragically Ludicrous

Oh man! Now I just need a jar. Also rum. Take that, dinner party!


Giiirl, those nails are superb!

(Also, making the apple-infused spiced rum this weekend.)


This sounds great--going to put this in a lemonade jar with spigot for easier access (or should I transfer after the ten days?).
I'm also betting the rum-soaked apples would taste great roasted up with some pork tenderloin.

Diana Vilibert

@applestoapples: I would probably transfer after 10 days just in case, but as long as the seal is tight (does the lemonade jar work like boxed wine in that sense), that could be okay too!


And for variety, watermelon infused vodka is equally easy and utterly insane when mixed with a splash of lemonade at a bbq.
Just cut off the rind, cube the insides and soak in vodka for about 3 days, then discard the watermelon chunks. I usually just use a soup pot or whatever for this one because I mix it with the lemonade in a pretty pitcher before guests arrive...and I've never had any leftovers.


@sockiboos 1000 times yes to this BUT don't discard the watermelon chunks! Freeze and eat them like delicious popsicles!
Also, vanilla vodka is surprisingly good with watermelon.


That is a noseless face, not a mouthless face, surely? (otherwise, yay)

Diana Vilibert

@barnhouse: no! the clove in the middle is the nose. a noseless face would just be silly.


@Diana Vilibert Well fine, it's your clove! But I like it to be a tiny little mouth saying "Oo!"


@barnhouse Follows the Hello Kitty logic of mouthless cute things that can therefore empathize with you. If you're sad, mouthless apple is sad with you; if you're happy, mouthless apple says "Party time!" Try it.

dracula's ghost

watermelon vodka! Yes!!! I have made other infused vodkas, with varying degrees of success. Raspberry was gross. The best one was vanilla. Just get one vanilla bean at your hippie store (it's big, strong and oily!), put it in a bottle of vodka (the middle-sized kind of bottle), and let sit for a couple weeks, shaking gently every once in awhile. It is so good. So buttery and smooth and warm, totally turns vodka into a solo sipper!

can be added to orange juice if you want a drink that tastes exactly like a boozy dreamsicle (and who doesn't?)


@dracula's ghost
You've just described what I need to make my life complete. Boozy Dreamsickle, yessss!


@dracula's ghost yes! I was just going to comment about how awesome/easy it is to make your own infused vanilla vodka. Add to everything, instantly makes it 10000x better. Screwdriver? BOOZY DREAMSICLE. Diet coke and vodka? meh, good for if you're on a diet, but Diet coke and self infused vanilla vodka? SODA SHOP FOUNTAIN SODA. Don't even get me started on white russians or french martinis.

Katie Ritter

Thank you Hairpin for encouraging a daily liquor habit.


I once had a shot called a steak dinner. It involved bacon vodka and a Worcestershire sauce-soaked lemon slice. just don't do this.


This is pretty awesome - but - since I like neither apple-flavored items, nor rum - I'm more interested in your polka-dotted manicure! DO TELL ABOUT THAT!!!!!!!!!!!

Diana Vilibert

@Olivia2.0: A base coat, two coats of your main shade, and then polka dots using Q-tips :) Super easy!


@Diana Vilibert Genius! Trying this over the weekend!!!!


has anybody else ever made vodka melons? where you take whatever kind of melon you want (usually watermelon, though I've also done this with honeydew and cantaloupe too), drill some holes in it with your designated food project drill (shut up), then pour vodka in it? you let it "steep" for a day, then eat it and get drunk/feel healthy for eating fruit. you should all be doing this.


@contrary YES! My friends did it once with a 10 lb watermelon-- they poured a whole bottle of Absolut into it and it weighed a ton! It was delicious and I've rarely been so drunk.


Very funny tutorial, had you already downed one you made earlier? Can't wait to try it and your nails do look the shizzle.

Diana Vilibert

@Pixi: Ha, are you implying I was under the influence as I wrote this post? :)

karen carpenter

I am having a party a week from Saturday. That is pushing the 10-day minimum but this seems PERFECT. Should I risk it?!

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