Apple Cordial

This little tipple is a terrific way to use up your apple peels. You can make up a batch anytime, but I think it tastes best on a chilly night, when you’re curled up and cozy. You might consider making extra for friends—homemade hooch is a charming hostess gift. You don’t need any special equipment, just a good glass jar or bottle for storage. You can use the same infusion technique for any flavored booze or vinegar. Substitute berries, citrus peels, or spices such as vanilla beans, for delicious alternatives.
September 12, 2016


Sterilize a glass jar that is big enough to hold the amount of peels you’ll be infusing, by submerging it and its lid in boiling water for 10 minutes. Canning jars are great at handling that kind of heat, so they are a good option, but you can use any kind of jar you have on hand. Pack the peels into the sterilized jar. Cover completely with your spirit of choice. Add the sugar and any spices, if using. Screw the lid on the jar and shake. Place the jar in a cool, dark place for 1 to 2 weeks, shaking every day or so to distribute the flavors. Strain out the peels and spices, compost or discard them, and decant the liquid into another sterilized jar. Enjoy neat or on the rocks. The cordial keeps, in a cool, dark place, for up to 1 year.


  • Peels from 3 to 4 apples (about 2 cups)
  • Up to 750 milliliters high-alcohol spirit (you can use whatever you like; vodka, rum, and whiskey are all great here, as long as it is 80 proof or more)
  • Up to 1 cup granulated sugar
  • Cider spices, such as a cinnamon stick, a couple cloves or a couple coins of raw ginger (optional)
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