The Best Apples To Pick For Your Next Fruity Bourbon Cocktail

Close-up of a bourbon drink garnished with apple slices
Close-up of a bourbon drink garnished with apple slices - Brent Hofacker/Shutterstock

The delicious pairing of apples and bourbon doesn't need to be limited to the fall months or seasonal gatherings. If you've tried infusing bourbon with leftover apple peels, you know exactly how good this sweet and husky marriage can be. The right types of apples can round out some of the bolder notes found in smokier bourbons, and the fruity-boozy-duo can pave the way to cocktail recipes that are equal parts crisp, juicy, and sweet.

As you set out to whip up concoctions that have your friends asking for additional rounds, reach for apples that can hold their own when stacked up against splashes of bourbon. If your preferred bourbon leans on the sweeter, more caramelized side of the spirit's flavor profile with notes of vanilla, fruit, toasted nuts, or honey, a sour apple may be just what you need to help your drink recipe sing. But juicy and flavorful apple varieties like the Pink Lady are best if you intend to muddle fruit pieces to shake with other ingredients, strain, and serve.

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Close-up of a drink garnished with cinnamon sticks
Close-up of a drink garnished with cinnamon sticks - JacZia/Shutterstock

Whether you're setting out to pour a batch of boozy apple cider or make an after-dinner bourbon cocktail with simple syrup and lemon juice, the apple varieties you choose to use will impact the finished flavor of your drink. Once you've identified the primary tasting notes of the bourbon you plan to use in your recipe, consider the flavors that will either complement or match your chosen bottle of alcohol.

From sweet Honeycrisps to tart and crunchy Fuji apples, you have plenty of options once you step behind your home bar. Though puckery Granny Smith apples can add a pop of color to a glass, these dry, tart apples may not build the level of sweetness you're looking for in your cocktail. Similarly, Golden and Red Delicious varieties lack strong flavors and won't offer the burst of taste you're hoping for as you take your first sip.

Experiment by mixing and matching flavors of apples by brushing apple slices with lemonade or lemon juice to keep them looking fresh and providing a tray to let guests garnish drinks with their chosen varieties. Finally, cinnamon sticks, sprigs of rosemary and thyme, and Luxardo maraschino cherries can provide the finishing touches any apple-enhanced bourbon cocktail deserves.

Read the original article on Tasting Table.