Don't Throw Out Your Apple Peels — Make Infused Bourbon Instead

Do you have a few apple peels sitting on the countertop? Don't sweep them into the trash can! That'd be quite a waste considering how useful and versatile apple peels are. You can use a few thin slices to make tea, make apple syrup, and more. For the bourbon lovers out there, apple peels can do you one more thing that you're certainly going to enjoy; make apple-flavored bourbon!

Let's say you received a less-than-stellar bottle of bourbon during the holidays and you have better options on your shelf. Instead of letting it gather dust in a corner, you can use apple peels to infuse the bourbon with a subtle, fruity undertone! Apple peels create a bourbon infusion that's reminiscent of Jack Daniel's Tennessee Apple, perfect for those who enjoy a touch of natural sweetness in their drink. If you're worried that the apple peels might overpower the bourbon's bold character, there's no need to fret! Since you're not adding whole apple slices, the flavor extracted from the peels will be gentle and enhance the bourbon rather than hog its spotlight.

There's more to this process than just taste, though. While you may not typically think about nutrition while sipping bourbon, apple peels are packed with antioxidants and beneficial polyphenols according to the Argentinian Science and Technology Journal. So, you're not only enhancing the flavor but also giving your bourbon a nutritional boost. Additionally, holding onto and recycling these peels is a meaningful step towards making your kitchen more eco-friendly!

Making your first batch of apple-infused bourbon

As we mentioned earlier, it's best not to use your prized bourbons for this infusion. Keep those top-shelf bottles for sipping or mixing classic cocktails. For this project, look for a cheap, unopened bottle of bourbon. Grab a large jar that can comfortably hold the bourbon plus all the apple peels. For a 750-milliliter bottle, you'll need the peels from six to seven apples. Uncap the bourbon bottle and pour its contents into the jar, making sure the peels are fully submerged.

If this is your first time making apple-infused bourbon, you can move on to the next step. If you've made a couple of batches and want to get creative, you can spice up the bourbon by adding a cinnamon stick and one or two cloves. These seasonings will add warm and spicy flavors that complement the natural sugar of the apples.

Seal the jar securely and let your concoction sit at room temperature to "age." After two days, strain out the seasonings (if you decide to include them.) A week later, strain out the apple peels, and that's that! You can store your fresh apple bourbon like any regular bottle of flavored whiskey, either at room temperature or in the fridge if you like it cold. It should stay good for a couple of weeks. During that time, you can use it just like regular bourbon. Enjoy it neat or mix it into bourbon-based cocktails, it's your choice!