This infusion is very easy to make. Both bourbon lovers and bourbon abstainers love this concoction.
I found some similar recipes that called for a 2-5 day infusion. Lately, I have seen a lot of tips that call for infusing liqueurs for only a few days. I taste all my infusions frequently, and while some ingredients may act quickly, I prefer to infuse most of my liqueurs for a longer time period. Sometimes it may take months. Use your judgment here, but I let this marinate about a month.
Apple Pie Bourbon
750 ml Bourbon
3 Granny smith apples (or enough to cover)
1/2 vanilla bean, split
Slice and core the apples. Discard the cores. Place the apple slices, cinnamon, and vanilla bean in a large jar. Add bourbon, making sure it covers all the apples slices. Close tightly and stir or shake every few days. Allow to infuse for about a month or until it reaches your desired taste. Keep in mind that the flavors will mellow and change over time. Strain and filter through a strainer, cheesecloth, and coffee filters.
Almost immediately, the harsh alcohol flavor was mellowed. The cinnamon took over pretty quickly. Be patient, the rest of the flavors will come through. After infusing for a month, the apple and vanilla were much stronger. And as with many infusions, flavors change and mellow after all of the ingredients are filtered out. A few weeks after straining, the cinnamon flavor was less intense and the liqueur was a very balanced, apple pie taste. This has been a favorite of many! We will make it again, and probably try some variations as well.
* Save the apples when you strain the bourbon. They make a great filling for Bourbon Apple Pies!
February 21, 2012 at 8:55 pm
This sounds delicious! Do you happen to watch Justified on FX?
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September 22, 2012 at 9:03 am
Do you need to refrigerate when using apples?
September 23, 2012 at 7:28 pm
Hi Pete, this recipe has a high enough alcohol content that it is not necessary to refrigerate. thanks!
September 27, 2012 at 12:57 pm
This looks so delicious! I can’t wait to make this and it would be great Christmas gifts!
October 10, 2012 at 7:49 pm
Yes! This would be great for Christmas gifts. I hope you enjoy it!
September 28, 2012 at 5:09 am
Mmm… Apple Season is upon us, and soon my mind will want nothing else. I go apple crazy once a year, including what I drink. Your infusion sounds delightful.
And sugaredpecan – that’s a great idea. I’ve been told I should make infused syrups for people to buy, but instead might make them as gifts.
October 8, 2012 at 11:08 am
An apple a day keeps the doctor away…right!? Lol.
October 10, 2012 at 7:39 pm
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November 11, 2012 at 11:21 am
this looks great. Definitely going to set this up today.
November 13, 2012 at 8:07 pm
That sounds amazing!
November 13, 2012 at 9:12 pm
Thanks! It is really tasty, I hope you give it a try!
November 18, 2012 at 3:28 pm
do you discard the apples after the infusion?
November 18, 2012 at 9:30 pm
Hi Yancy, sometimes I discard the apples. Last time I made them into pie filling and they tasted great! here is the recipe: https://boozedandinfused.com/2012/10/28/bourbon-apple-pies/
November 21, 2012 at 9:21 pm
What bourbon did you use? I want to do this and I’m debating between Jim Beam or Makers Mark. I was also thinking of trying a rye bourbon and see what happens
November 21, 2012 at 9:54 pm
Hi Paul, I just used Jim Beam for this and it was delicious. I think Makers would be even nicer, but you don’t need to go that high if you don’t want to. Beam infuses quite well. I served this to a friend who normally drinks Makers and he guzzled down two glasses exclaiming how great it was and how he wanted to drink the whole bottle. I also think Rye would be nice, let me know how it goes!
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November 27, 2012 at 2:19 pm
Add a few cloves to get a good mulling spice flavor. I tried this recipe for an after thankgiving dinner drink and it went over great. I infused for 3 weeks, then infused the infusion for the last week. Was finished within minutes!
November 27, 2012 at 6:56 pm
Thanks for the tip! I’m sure the clove would be tasty in this infusion… Cheers~
November 28, 2012 at 7:27 am
Sounds delicious. thanks for reading.
November 28, 2012 at 8:58 pm
Thanks, and cheers!
November 30, 2012 at 7:20 pm
This sounds great. Peel the apples or leave the skin?
December 2, 2012 at 8:09 pm
Sorry it took me a while to get back to you. I always leave the skin on. I think the skin has a lot of flavor. Cheers~
December 8, 2012 at 6:02 pm
We have decided as a family to make Christmas gifts for each other this year and since alcohol is a common interest, I couldn’t think of anything more appropriate than “making” infused liquor! Your blog has been my bible in this process so THANK YOU for all the effort and entries! I currently have a batch of the apple pie bourbon and coffee bourbon infusing (for about 1.5 weeks now) and I found several serving suggestions for the Coffee Bourbon, but was curious if you had suggestions for your Apple Pie Bourbon? I have tasted it recently (my favorite step in this process), and it tastes amazing on it’s own, but I thought giving the bottles with a cute card of other serving suggestions would be fun. Any ideas would be great!! Thank you again! Happy Holidays!
December 9, 2012 at 10:26 am
Hi Mickey, I am so glad you have found us! I hope your family likes the gifts!
To be honest, I think we drank all of our apple pie bourbon straight. I don’t have any at the moment to be able to test out any cocktails for you. But I would suggest using it in a Manhattan. I also think it would be nice with just the bourbon and a bit of ginger ale. I found this link with suggestions for cocktails, but they are a bit complicated. I’d probably stick with the Manhattan, but if you are interested: http://thedailysouth.southernliving.com/2012/08/31/3-new-bourbon-cocktails-for-labor-day-weekend/
Cheers and Happy Holidays!
December 13, 2012 at 6:56 pm
This sounds great. I’m just finding this recipe, however, and would love to whip it up for guests at Christmas eve. Would 10 days be enough time?
December 13, 2012 at 7:07 pm
Hi Chris, I say go for it! I think the apple flavor continues to get stronger over the month, but it will still taste pretty good after just 10 days. There are plenty of people who say they only infuse something like this for 2-5 days. My preference is the longer infusion time, but don’t let that stop you. It will still be good! If you add a bit of dried apple, that may help the apple flavor come out faster. (I have not actually tried that, but my experience is that dried fruits infuse quicker.) good luck and happy holidays!
December 17, 2012 at 2:37 pm
hi there – how often should you strain the bourbon?
December 18, 2012 at 6:25 pm
Once it reaches your desired taste, you can strain it. If you strain it well enough you shouldn’t need to strain it after that. However, the cinnamon in this was fairly difficult to strain well. You could try double layering the coffee filters on a second pass through. Make sure you have already filtered it thought a jelly bag and single coffee filter, as that stage can take quite a while.
December 19, 2012 at 4:33 pm
Would it compromise the infusion to use vanilla extract instead of half a vanilla bean? If it’s kosher to do so, how much would you suggest? Half a teaspoon or so?
Really excited to try this one out! Thanks a bunch!
December 21, 2012 at 8:59 am
Hi Octavia, I have seen recipes that call for vanilla extract,but I have not personally used it in my liqueur-making. I think it would be fine to try it. I would start out with only a 1/2 teaspoon and see what you think. Wait a while and see how everything tastes when it is done infusing. If you think it needs more after the rest is done, add a touch more. You don’t really want it to taste of vanilla.
January 2, 2013 at 4:24 am
It came out especially nice…thanks for the basic recipe (and I’m glad my tweaks didn’t ruin it): http://1pumplane.wordpress.com/2013/01/02/magic-apple-pie-liqueur-bottled/
February 9, 2013 at 1:49 pm
Thanks for posting this great infusion. Since being introduced to great small batch Bourbons by my Kansas City brother in law, I had been looking for a Bourbon that had Apple Pie flavour. But now I can make my own! Can’t wait to give it a try.
Two questions, please:
1. Can I half the quantities of the ingredients and still get the same result (as I want to try this with different bourbons)
2. Have you ever infused longer than a month and did it make any difference ?
Best wishes from Australia!
February 23, 2013 at 10:52 am
Nick, sorry for the delay in my response.
To answer your questions, yes, you can absolutely cut the ingredients in half. And no, I have not tried this particular infusion for longer than a month. But experimentation is always fun and welcomed so go for it and see what you think! I was afraid the cinnamon would take over too much of the flavor, but the cinnamon seemed to mellow after a while. I am not sure how that would change with a longer infusion time.
Good luck and cheers~
March 6, 2013 at 11:29 am
I did what you said and let the bourbon infuse for a month, and holy moly, it is AMAZING. I’ve frozen all the apple pieces except for one, which I made the mistake of eating. It was as unpleasant as the apple pie bourbon is delicious. You are a genius and an inspiration. Coffee bourbon, cherry bourbon, and a variety of chai infusions are on the agenda for this week.
March 12, 2013 at 12:02 am
Gotta agree with everyone, this is an impressive infusion. Now I’ve read the comments again realise I’m yet to try a Manhattan with it, probably a dry one would be better?
Anyhow was much fun tasting over time and see the flavours changed. I used 1/3 a bottle of Bulleit and just packed the ingredients into a small, squat glass canning jar. I turned mine everyday as I was worried about the apples going off but they stayed surprisingly firm and packed with alcohol taste!
Any idea of how the alcohol content changes over time?
The apple pie itself was yum and highly recommended 😀
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October 17, 2013 at 1:09 pm
does it have to be granny smith? will it taste just as good with other red apple varieties?
October 26, 2013 at 8:43 am
Yes, you can certainly use other apple varieties! And they would be delicious!
October 23, 2013 at 6:44 am
ok i know jack daniel’s isn’t marketed as a bourbon but its made in a similar fashion. do you think it would work with your apple infusion recipe or do you think it would come out wrong?
October 26, 2013 at 9:05 am
You can certainly infuse with Jack Daniel’s. It is really a matter of personal preference and taste. If you like the flavor of Jack Daniel’s then I’m sure you will enjoy it infused with the apple pie infusion recipe! I tend to prefer the flavor of bourbon, but that is really just my preference. If you use infuse with Jack Daniel’s, it will have a different flavor, but that doesn’t make it wrong – just different. Go for it, I’m sure it will be great! Cheers~
October 28, 2013 at 11:15 pm
Thanks for the recipe, I’m currently in the beginning of week 2 in the infusion process. I’m excited to try it but I am worried that I may have put all of the ingredients in too big of a jar leaving the some of the apple slices exposed to the air in the jar. Would having the apples not fully submerged cause a change in flavor or an other problems?
November 2, 2013 at 9:31 am
Hi Al, don’t worry about the size of the jar. When I infuse apples, they tend to discolor, and some of them will float to the top. But I have never had a bad flavor come out of it. Just power through until the infusion has gone long enough, then filter really well and see what you think. I think it will really be ok! Cheers~
November 6, 2013 at 7:52 pm
I just followed this recipe, scaling up the ingredients for a handle (1.75 L) of bourbon. I’ve recently made homemade grand marnier and limoncello with great success, so I’m really looking forward to this. I plan on doling it out as Christmas gifts to the family.
Other recipes seem to indicate that the cinnamon can take over and turn the whole thing into a bottle of hot damn with a hint of apples. Their suggestions are to leave the cinnamon in for a short time. What are your thoughts on this? Your writeup seems to indicate that the mellowing period takes care of the problem.
Thanks again for the infusion idea!
November 14, 2013 at 7:30 am
Hi there, thank you for your comment. I think you will LOVE the recipe! As to your questions about the cinnamon taking over, I really do think that the cinnamon flavor mellows over time. If you are concerned, you can certainly remove it early. Or next time, you could just use one cinnamon stick for the entire 1.75 L of bourbon. Have you sampled this yet? Sampling is never a bad thing…
November 12, 2013 at 8:28 pm
Hi! Do I need to strain it or can I make and give it as gifts in bottles with the apple and cinnamon stick in it? Do you have to strain it? Obviously if I shove the apples in a bottle they won’t slide out into the glass hopefully… Thinking of cool presentation!
November 17, 2013 at 6:57 pm
Hi – Yes, I really recommend straining this if you are going to give it as a gift. For this infusion, I think you need to strain it and let the flavors mellow out for a while to achieve the best flavor. (Plus, you don’t want the cinnamon flavor to take over.) There are other recipes that don’t really need straining in order to achieve the optimal flavor, but typically the ingredients tend to look pretty unappetizing when they are done infusing, so I always think it is best to strain before gifting. I know they look pretty when you first place them in the bottle, so it sounds good at first. But I think you’ll get what I mean after this has infused for a while. Cheers~
November 17, 2013 at 7:17 pm
Is there a danger of botulism forming in this? I know the alcohol content is very high and that should inhibit the C. Botulinum from growing and producing the toxin, but I’m always a bit paranoid when it comes to this. Thanks for your time!
January 4, 2014 at 10:28 am
Thank you for your comment. If you follow the recipes, there should be no danger of botulism. If you are worried, you can use extra alcohol (or a higher proof spirit – perhaps a 100 proof). Cheers~
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December 19, 2013 at 1:43 pm
If you’re pressed for time is there anything you can do to speed the process up?
December 21, 2013 at 2:04 pm
The only ways that I know to speed up the process of infusing is to either get an ISI whipper, or a vacuum sealer. I have not yet invested in either of those. Otherwise, you can always get started and see what it tastes like in a shorter time frame. A lot of people recommend shorter infusion times than I tend to use. The flavor will start imparting into the liquor, but it won’t be as strong. Are you trying to finish this in time for Christmas? When did you start it? good luck…
April 12, 2014 at 9:46 am
I made this and it was delicious! However, the general consensus was that they wished the cinnamon was more prominent and I added 1 1/2 cinnamon sticks instead of the recipe’s 1. I’m starting another batch and throwing 2 in there and tasting it as it goes along to see if I might even throw another in there.
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September 15, 2014 at 1:56 pm
Hi Alicia- when adding the flavours and apples, does it not keep as long? If I give it as a gift should I suggest storing it in the fridge?
September 16, 2014 at 9:11 pm
Hi there, if you follow the recipe there is no need to refrigerate. This keeps for a long time! Cheers~
November 5, 2014 at 6:49 am
Hey Alicia! This was a great idea and I am currently infusing some right now in time for the December holidays.
This is my current recipe:
(3) 1.75L handles of Two Stars Bourbon
Approx. 6-8 Granny Smith apples
2 Golden Delicious Apples
2 Red Delicous Apples
4-5 Sticks of Cinnamon
1 Tablespoon Allspice berries
1 Tablespoon Cardamom from a pod
3 Split Vanilla Beans
1/4 Teaspoon powdered ginger
1/4 Teaspoon Ground Nutmeg
1 cup Golden Raisins
All of the apples were sliced into wedges, all of the spices were crushed, everything went into a big glass drink dispenser (about 2 gallons). I’m now on day 5 and I wanted to get some feedback from you if possible. I stir and taste it everyday and there is the bright acidity from the green apples and the spicy cinnamon that are immediately overwhelming. I am concerned. Will the apple acidity mellow out and should I take out the cinnamon soon to yield a nice rounded apple pie flavor? I do want the cinnamon, but don’t want it to be overwhelming obviously. Should I have used red/golden delicious apples to prevent the acidity? How much after filtering everything out does it change? Also, does refrigerating it after filtering change the flavors over time? Obviously I’ve put a lot of money and time into this and want it to be amazing. I’m going to bottle it and give it as gifts for the Holidays. Thanks for your help!
November 16, 2014 at 4:46 pm
You will find that the cinnamon will mellow over time, as will the green apple flavor. Infused liquors continue to develop over time, even after all of the ingredients have been removed. By the time you are ready to gift, them the flavor should be much more smooth. If you feel it is too acidic, you can add a touch of simple syrup before you gift it. And if the cinnamon is concerning you, you can pull it out now (if you haven’t already).
Good luck… and cheers~
November 24, 2014 at 8:36 am
I used your recipe for Thanksgiving last year, and it was a hit! I used a 750ml bottle of Bulleit Bourbon, and the whole bottle was gone by the end of the night. For an early Thanksgiving dinner this year, I did a 750ml bottle of Bulleit again, as well as a 750ml bottle of Woodford Reserve, another favorite bourbon of mine.
The Bulleit definitely mellowed out faster and came out smoother overall. The Woodford Reserve kept some of its bite, and while toned down, was definitely not as smooth as the Bulleit infusion. I infused both for about two weeks, and for each bottle I ended up using three granny smith apples, a whole vanilla bean, and a whole container of McCormick cinnamon sticks. For whatever reason I wasn’t getting a lot of flavor from the cinnamon and I kept adding sticks until I was out.
People LOVED the infusions. Two hours into the party, both bottles were finished; and this is a group of people where the whiskey lovers are definitely in the minority! Everyone was either drinking it neat or on the rocks, no mixers, no cocktails, nothing. It was quite the hit.
I can’t thank you enough for this recipe! I’m going to have to plan ahead for the next party…two 1.75L bottles might be enough…maybe. I’ve already been going through your site and bookmarking more recipes to try.
Thanks again Alicia!
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