Sharkbait’s Cocktail of the Week: Use Your Infusion

Happy Friday everyone. We all made it through another week….I think. I’m currently in the middle of parental leave from work, so knowing what day it is has been a bit of a struggle. One of the perks of having some time off is the ability to play with some recipes I’ve been wanting to try for a while. I found this infusion recipe  a few years ago and never did anything with it…until now. I bring you the Apple Spice Bourbon Infusion:

3 tablespoons brown sugar
3 tablespoons water
1/2 cup apple juice (unfiltered)
1 apple, cored and cut into cubes
1 teaspoon cinnamon
12 whole cloves
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
1 1/2 cups bourbon

Add the sugar, water and apple juice to a saucepan over low heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until all the sugar has melted. Add the apple, cinnamon, cloves and vanilla bean, and continue cooking until the apple just begins to caramelize. (The fruit will start to soften and brown slightly.) Remove from heat and allow to cool. Once cool, add the apple mixture to a sealable glass jar. Add the bourbon, and then store in a cool, dark place for 24 hours, shaking occasionally. (You can infuse the bourbon for up to 2 days if you desire a stronger spice flavor). Once the infusion is complete, shake one more time and then strain out the liquid. A tea strainer will work well for this – if you want to strain out the little bits, you can strain a second time with a coffee filter. This recipe makes 2 cups, just enough to fill a pint-sized mason jar.

Seems pretty straightforward. TO THE KITCHEN!

I even made sure to test the bourbon. You know, to make sure it was OK to use.

For science.

Once everything cooked down it was time to jar it up:

See you in two days!

Here is the finished product:

Minus a few glasses…

It’s very, very good. The clove hits you up front, followed by the apple and vanilla bean. The bourbon flavor is muted, but not in a bad way. The cinnamon somewhat gets lost a little bit however. Though any more cinnamon added may over correct and overpower and make it bitter.

The overall flavor palate is of a mild sweetness, reminiscent of apple pie filling, though not as sugary as the classic fall dessert. The infused whiskey is good enough to have on its own, but I wouldn’t recommend more than a finger’s worth at a time. The recipe suggests mixing with ginger ale. I have not tried that yet, but I can see how the ginger flavor there would enhance the raw base. I would also try this warmed up. The fall flavors lend themselves to a quick stovetop warmup before putting in a flask and taking a nice walk outside.

Like most recipes I try, I always go by the book the first time around. The next time I make this (and believe me, there will be a next time) I’m going to try and alter the spice profile a little bit. I’m thinking I’ll back the clove off a little bit, and maybe add in some allspice or nutmeg, since those play nicely with apple flavors. I’d also increase the amount of bourbon infused. There was more room in my jar, and it should be put to good use. Speaking of putting things to good use, I did save the infused apples. I’m thinking they can be used in some sort of dessert application.

(Banner image found here)

Sharkbait has not actually been bitten by a shark, but has told people in bars that he was for free drinks. Lives in Boston, married to a Giants fan, he enjoys whisk(e)y, cooking, the Rangers, and the Patriots.
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I don’t normally go in for apple juice based drinks but this sounds very nice.


Have you tried injecting it directly into your veins?

Game Time Decision

y’all got the wrong idea. Mash up the apples and use as baby food to get a few extra hours of sleep…

King Hippo

Can’t wait for Use Your Infusion II

The Right Reverend Electric Mayhem

Good thing you’re not a wine fan. Sangiovese Democracy might be a long time coming

The Right Reverend Electric Mayhem



Oh yeah. That looks great.

yeah right

You could probably take the leftover apples and reheat them in a pot with some butter and maybe a bit more brown sugar and make a caramel out of them. Serve over vanilla ice cream and walk off the field to a standing ovation.




That might be a good base to make a bourbon BBQ sauce for some unique pulled pork.

yeah right

Or that too. Vinegar, some yellow mustard, tomato sauce, salt, pepper, paprika, cumin, chili powder, cayenne, garlic and onion. Add in the apple mixture and simmer for awhile. Yeah.
I can see that working.

The Right Reverend Electric Mayhem

How the fuck are you able to drink with a newborn? I had half a beer two weeks in and was passed OUT within an hour.


Damn babies are a bunch of fucking light weights.