Sunday, December 13, 2015

Spiced Apple Bourbon Sparklers

What are your favorite holiday cocktails? I love warm mulled wine and bourbon drinks. And I’m a big fan of champagne or sparkling wine during the holidays slash all year long. This year I whipped up a double batch of this eggnog, at my coworker’s insistence. It’s been aging for a few weeks, so we won’t know the outcome until we crack it open the week of Christmas. I’m pretty excited for it though! 

I’ve been mixing up these sparkling bourbon cocktails since Thanksgiving. Get started infusing your bourbon now—you’ll want it to soak up the flavors for at least a week before making a cocktail with it. I made a big jar of apple peel bourbon for Thanksgiving, and then instead of using ginger beer as the recipe suggested, I used Martinelli’s sparkling apple cider (which is a holiday must in my household. This isn’t sponsored. I seriously just love Martinelli’s.). Several batches in, I realized the best combo is a sparkling cider base, the spiced bourbon, and then a ginger beer float on the top. So Christmassy! The bourbon gets so mellow and flavorful, and the apple cider brings out the… apple-y-ness. Mostly for cuteness, but also for a hint of flavor, you should definitely garnish with a sprig of rosemary, pomegranate arils, and a cinnamon stick. These are seriously good and dangerously chuggable. 
FYI: In true holiday spirit, my computer just kept trying to autocorrect “chuggable” to “huggable.” 

Spiced Apple Bourbon Sparklers

Spiced apple peel bourbon (recipe below)
Martinelli’s sparkling apple cider
Ginger beer (non alcoholic)
Fresh rosemary
Pomegranate arils (seeds)
cinnamon sticks

Fill rocks glasses with ice. Add 1 shot of the spiced bourbon to each glass, then fill 3/4 full with sparkling cider. Top off with ginger beer. Garnish with a rosemary sprig, pomegranate arils, and a cinnamon stick. Feel free to adjust amounts based on your preference. 

Spiced Apple Peel Bourbon
Adapted from this recipe

Makes one large bottle/ jar 

2-3 large apples, peeled (use the apple for something else, use the peels here)
peel of 1 lemon or small orange
1 cinnamon stick
2 cloves
2 small chunk of peeled ginger
3 cardamom pods, smashed
One 750 milliliter bottle of bourbon (my first batch used rye, which was delish) 

Fill a large jar or bottle with the apple peels, and add the rest of the spices. Pour the bourbon over to completely cover. Let sit, sealed, for at least a week at room temperature (taste after a few days, and if the cinnamon or cloves seem strong, feel free to remove). After a week, strain, and keep the strained bourbon in a jar or bottle in the fridge. 

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