Introduction: Liquid Apple Pie (xxx)

Picture of Liquid Apple Pie (xxx)

I first heard about this drink on a TV show I like "Justified", it intrigued me enough to look it up online. Incidentally, this recipe barely resembles the drink from the show as moonshiners just mix their moonshine 50/50 with apple juice. Anyway, there are a litany of recipes for the drink all over online, but this is a blending of multiple recipes and of course plenty of trial and error, even though my 1st batch was perhaps the best I've ever made.

The name "Apple Pie" hits the nail on the head as each drink tastes exactly like a bite of apple pie. Even better, this drink has enough booze to warm you up during the cold nights of the Holidays I make it for, especially Thanksgiving and Christmas. But perhaps most surprising is even with the considerable amount of grain alcohol (essentially legal moonshine) in this recipe you can barely tell there is any alcohol in it at all as long as you let it age a little. The taste right after you make it barely resembles the finished taste after a week of aging.

I promise any holiday gathering you serve this at or bring to will make you the toast of the party. I give small mason jars of this for Christmas gifts. I rarely get very much of it because as soon as word is out I have a batch, you would think I won the lotto with all the friends and family who come out of the woodwork.

Fair warning in advance, this isn't something you make on a whim. The amount of time it takes to make and age relegates it to special occasions rather than random cravings.

Step 1: Gather Ingredients

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1 Gallon Apple Cider

*If you notice in the picture, the cider I used was lightly colored and cloudy, as a result the finished product wasn't as pretty as usual.

*Keep in mind that some cider's have more sediment than others, if you get a sediment heavy variety, you might want to strain the finished product through cheese cloth.

1 Gallon Apple Juice

4 Cups Granulated Sugar(Haven't tried raw sugar, but have high hopes for it)

1 Tbs. Vanilla Extract

6-10 Cinnamon Sticks

1 750 ml Bottle Everclear (180 proof grain alcohol)

*White Rum +50% volume can be substituted

*But Everclear gives better results and it takes less

1 Apple(Optional)

Step 2: Combine 1st Set of Ingredients

Picture of Combine 1st Set of Ingredients

Turn stove to setting 8 out of 10

In large stockpot combine:

Apple Juice

Keep Empty Jug for later

Apple Cider

Keep Empty Jug for later

Vanilla Extract

Cinnamon Sticks (6 of them)

Sugar(Wait until the mixture is steaming to add the sugar. Add the sugar slowly while stirring)

You should still have

Liquor

6 of the cinnamon sticks

*This is mostly decoration, but also increases the cinnamon profile slightly

1 apple (optional)

*This is strictly decoration to have in the serving container, especially if it is see through, I personally don't like to include it, but my mom does

Step 3: Heating

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Keep stockpot uncovered

Adjust heat if necessary

Essentially you want steaming and almost a low rolling boil, you shouldn't see bubbles forming and rushing up from bottom of pot, but you should see the liquid rolling at the surface making it look semi-turbulent

The length of time to leave on the stove is largely choice

At minimum, heat until the cinnamon sticks unroll most of the way

The longer you heat, the more volume you lose and the richer the flavor

I recommend 4-6 hrs.

Step 4: Cooling

Remove stockpot from heat

Leave it in the stockpot, separating it out into the storage containers at this point will cause problems

(You would not believe the blooper reel I could put together)

Separating into various containers will come later

Let stand until the product reaches room temperature

Moving on to the next step while the product is still hot will result in evaporation of the alcohol

(Once I moved on to the next step while product was still being heated on stove, and another time right after I took it off the stove, this is a bigger problem than you would think since you can't add alcohol to taste, as aging is critical, so any change in alcohol content will result in you waiting the entire aging time without knowing if it is too strong or too weak.)

Remove the used cinnamon sticks from the pot

Step 5: Add Liquor

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With the product cooled to at least room temperature (cooler is better)

Pour the liquor into the mixture slowly

Have grain alcohol splash into your eye, and you will appreciate the slowly part of this step

Step 6: Bottle for Aging

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Regardless of how you intend on serving it, the two best choices for bottling during the aging process

Pour into 2 gallon jugs

Because of all the volume loss from the heating stage, the entire concoction, even with the booze added should fit back into the two gallon jugs left over from the Apple Juice and Apple Cider if you so choose.

Pour into smaller bottles

I have used old small liquor bottles I had kept

Good option for gift giving, just throw a bow on it

This facilitates your rationing so you don't run out unexpectedly

Apple cider often has sediment in it, add in the sediment that can come off of the cinnamon sticks and you can have a significant amount of foreign material left at the bottom of your containers. This can be off putting to some so if you like, you can put cheese cloth in the funnel when bottling the product to get rid of it.

*This is the only time I have tried this and while it is a pain in the backside, it filtered it out exceptionally well

Add cinnamon sticks to the bottles whether they are the final product, or just being used for the aging process

Let set undisturbed for at least 5 days, although I consider a week the minimum.

The product must remain cool during aging and storage thereafter.

The longer you leave it to age the better the flavor up to 10 days, at that point aging will no longer change the product.

The longer you leave it to age the less you notice the presence of alcohol up to 10 days, at that point the drink is what it is.

I wish I could tell you how long the shelf life it, but it never lasts long, even when I manage not to suck it all down, as soon as the word gets out I have a batch, friends and family suddenly flood through doors and windows, so the longest I have ever stored it was one of the bottles I gave as a present that was stored for 3 weeks after I let it age a little more than 1 week.

So I can guarantee that it is safe and good for at least 4 weeks as long as you keep it cold

Since this drink is most popular during the colder months, depending on where you live you could get away with storing it in the garage. If not, the fridge is your only choice

Step 7: Serving

As discussed earlier, it can be given in small bottles as gifts and of course can be consumed directly from the bottle, even with the cinnamon stick still in it.

Or a similar way that has gotten a much better response is to put in small mason jars with decorative fabric over the lid, under the ring, with a ribbon glued around the ring, of course each jar has its own cinnamon stick

When we are hosting parties, we have a large glass jug in the shape of an apple with a spout at the bottom. When serving this way, of course add cinnamon sticks, but if you choose you can include apple wedges as well for decoration.

I prefer the flavor better when served cold, even in the cold weather the drink warms you up all on its own, some prefer it room temp and some prefer it warmed slightly, decide for yourself.

When done properly, even with the large amount of grain alcohol, more than a few people have had no idea that it contained alcohol. But it is in there, so be careful, it is stronger than the average cocktail.

My favorite holidays to make this for are Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas/Christmas Eve, New Years and the only warm weather holiday, the 4th of July(after all, what's more American than Apple Pie? especially with booze in it)

Comments

Arnold Ziphle (author)2017-04-02

FYI to all those having problems finding Everclear (190 proof alcohol) at your local liquor store, go to the restaurant supply store. Because some people can't drink responsibly, and the chance of dying from,alcohol poison, many liquor stores don't carry it. Chefs still need it for some recipes and to provide flame for cooking others.

ClayS made it! (author)2015-11-26

Just made some for the family for Thanksgiving gifts. I would recommend using less white sugar or substituting with something like honey or brown sugar as stated in earlier comments. Also possibly mulling for less time as mine turned out rather thick (about half as viscous as syrup). This was possibly due to the stove top that I had to use being a piece. I just added back water to taste. Turned out fine. Great recipe and easy to make. Thanks!

KosherAnt (author)2015-01-07

What about Brown sugar?

jwgottabass (author)KosherAnt2015-01-16

My next batch I plan on reducing the amount of white sugar and adding brown sugar, we'll see how it tastes then. I have seen other recipes where brown sugar is used instead of and/or in addition to white sugar.

Captain MacTavish (author)2015-01-01

My dad makes something very similar to this around Christmas Time, unfortunately i'm not old enough to try the real stuff he makes two separate batches, one that has everclear, and one that doesn't and it tastes really good. I have heard of bars making it stronger in everclear and sell it as shot for like $3 a shot

Look up orange creamsicle yall its amazing i dont like liqour cold except vodka but you can grab this stuff out in the mournings and would thinkd its a smoothie till you hit the ground

Rebecca1-1 (author)2014-11-27

Made it for thanksgiving,everyone loved it! I will be making more! ?

jerasnak (author)2014-11-23

I think I did something wrong. Mine is extremely sweet. I had to add water just to make it drinkable. If it wasn't so sweet it would be great! I'm definitely going to try this again.

Amiga500 (author)2014-11-02

I bet a crockpot would work for the mulling stage. This has 'Christmas present' written all over it, so thanks for posting it now, and not in December.

mworrall (author)2014-10-29

I assume Everclear is like the French marc.

jwgottabass (author)mworrall2014-10-29

I'm not sure what French marc is, but everclear is a clear grain alcohol, 190 proof. Stronger than most whiskey by double.

mworrall (author)jwgottabass2014-10-29

No kidding-marc is only about 120% proof.It's used to make fruit 'brandies."

a.steidl (author)2014-10-29

A friend of mine had something like this a few years ago, and it was delicious. Sadly, he took the word "secret" all too seriously, and never shared the recipe! I'll be trying this before the year's end. Thanks for sharing!

a.steidl (author)2014-10-29

Here in my town in Florida, it's nigh on impossible to find Everclear at higher than 151 proof, in a liquor store, anyhow. I'm guessing, however, the lack of an extra 14.5% ethanol won't make a huge difference.

counterillusion (author)2014-10-28

As far as shelf life goes:
While I haven't made this (yet), I make cordials, which have a significantly lower alcohol content. They're safe during the much longer steeping and then aging process, and they're still safe avid tasty literally years later. Usually it doesn't last that long, but a few jars got lost in the aging process, only to be found later been one and three years later, and they were still good.

TL;DR version: you've got enough alcohol in there that they should be safe indefinitely, but always do a sniff and/or taste test.

KazanKat6 (author)2014-10-28

do i need the Everclear? i want an alcohol-free version

Without the alcohol, it's basically a mulled/spiced cider. There are a lot of recipes for that, this looks like it should work well.

jwgottabass (author)KazanKat62014-10-28

In fact I just remembered, look a few comments below yours, someone left a little bit free of alcohol and said it was great. I hope you enjoy it.

jwgottabass (author)KazanKat62014-10-28

I wouldn't imagine alcohol is strictly necessary.

mworrall (author)2014-10-28

Would vodka be a possible substitute for Everclear?I'd really like to make this.

10amb02beckett (author)mworrall2014-10-28

Ever clear is vodka

Everclear and vodka are very different, you make the same cocktail with vodka as you do with everclear and the one made with everclear will be flammable. It is the highest proof commercially available alcohol there is, far higher than vodka.

jwgottabass (author)mworrall2014-10-28

I would go with Rum instead, but yes, although you need to add 33% volume as everclear is far stronger than vodka.

daxxvondrachen (author)2014-10-28

Nice but in a lot of states you can't get everclear

10amb02beckett (author)2014-10-28

Some friends and I will warm in a pot by the fire (similar version with Jim beam and jack). add a lemon for a good twist

warehouse32 (author)2014-10-28

Sounds delicious!

BastardlyDungeon made it! (author)2014-10-27

A child is born! The top is non alcoholic, and tastes absolutely amazing. The rest now gets to sit around! Thanks for this recipe!

MsSweetSatisfaction (author)2014-10-25

Mmmm bet it would warm you right up while tasting delicious. Not to mention a way to make Everclear WAY more drinkable, at least for a wimp like me.

Your exactly right, I love it for just that reason, chilly winter nights by the 3rd sip you feel the warmth start to spread over you. And even mixing everclear it can be pretty strong, that is why aging is so important with this, if you age it, I guarantee you won't be able to tell there is a strong liquor in there at all.

And it's pretty funny you commented, I was just looking at your profile and your projects yesterday.

Thanks for the comment.

making some right now! should I keep the stock pot covered?

Sorry I just saw your comment, definitely not, you will lose more volume but that is where the deep flavor comes from. Good Luck!

memgen (author)jwgottabass2014-10-26

Everclear? no dude corn whiskey is best for apple pie.

Igorlo (author)2014-10-26

next time, instead of sugar, use honey. about 3 pounds should will do. it will give it a better taste!

jwgottabass (author)2014-10-25

I had no idea there were so many cocktails similar to this on here before I made this. I was only alerted to it about 1/2hr. before I finally published it. I hope you like it anyway.

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