Looking for a little something to get you into the holiday spirit? Something that could go under the tree just as easily as in your glass? I've got just the thing: let's infuse some bourbon with holiday flavors. Throwing apples and cinnamon into bourbon feels like the cozy, boozy, slow start that this holiday season needs. You in? Great. Let's seize the holidays.
I think you'll be really surprised at how easy this is! Throw all of your ingredients into a mason jar and let everything get nice and cozy. Seal the jar tightly with a lid and stash it in a cool, dark place for a week or three. The flavors of the cinnamon and apples will infuse the bourbon, making it both sweet and spicy. Seriously, if bourbon got together with Christmas, this would be its love child.
Once the bourbon has infused to your liking, you can bottle it up to give away as gifts or enjoy it yourself. I like to do both, so I make several batches at a time. My kitchen counters look like that of a mad scientist this time of year with all of my boozy concoctions infusing away!
Once it's ready, turn on the fireplace, blast some Christmas carols, and enjoy a glass. For some extra-cozy imbibing, try my Apple Cinnamon Bourbon Hot Toddy! It's quickly becoming my new favorite drink.
Apple & Cinnamon Infused Bourbon
Makes 750-ml of infused bourbon
whole apples, such as Honey Crisp or any other sweet apple of your choice
whole cinnamon sticks
(750-ml) bottle bourbon
Core and slice the apples. Add these slices and the cinnamon sticks to a clean half-gallon mason jar with a tight-fitting lid (or several smaller mason jars — just split the ingredients evenly between jars).
Pour the bottle of bourbon into the mason jar, making sure that the apples and cinnamon are covered. Seal the jar tightly with their lids, and store the bottles somewhere cool and dark to infuse.
Let the bourbon infuse for up to two weeks, shaking the jar occasionally to mix the ingredients. Taste the bourbon occasionally — it's ready when it tastes good to you. The longer you let it sit, the more flavor and sweetness it will have.
When ready, strain the apples and cinnamon sticks from the bourbon and discard them. (You might be temped to re-purpose the apples, but they will be flavorless since all of their flavor has infused into the bourbon.)
Transfer your infused bourbon into a new bottle (or several smaller gift-sized bottles). If you're making this for holiday gifts, add a cute label and decorate to your heart's content.
This bourbon can be enjoyed on its own or mixed into your favorite cocktails for a signature holiday flavor.