Graham’s Best Apple Martini

This guest post is brought to you by my friend Graham Holt of Graham’s Travel Blog. While blogging I have made many friends and Graham and I have been long standing fans and supporters of each others blogs. I enjoy his writing and find myself laughing out loud at his adventures and some of his misadventures too. I am so happy that he is here on Big Red Kitchen today sharing his non-neon green Apple Martini.

I had never had an Apple Martini before a friend, who is particularly fond of them, requested that I make this drink about a year ago. Knowing of this request, my wife sent me an interesting NY Times Article titled The Greening Of the Martini , which included several recipes for the drink.

While one of the recipes called for an infusion of apples and vodka, most of these recipes focused on DeKypur Sour Apple Pucker. This product has a flavor that is not completely unlike that of an apple Jolly Rancher, and while it does a good job of masking the flavor of vodka, it ends up being more of a distraction than something that I can proudly serve in my home. Using this product creates a passable drink in a busy bar serving college students, but I was more interested in something that I would actually want to drink.

When apple season rolled around this year, I picked up this project again, and I’ve come up with a recipe with which I’m really happy. Once the required ingredients are prepared, the drink comes together fairly easily. Some may find this a bit too much work for a cocktail, but I have yet to serve this to someone who didn’t thoroughly enjoy it.

The following recipe will make five drinks with enough Apple Infused Vodka left over for those that wish to try the base of this drink straight.

Apple Infused Vodka
2 Medium Apples: This is proven with Cortlands and Fujis, but other, crisp and slightly sour varieties such as Gala and Fuji should work as well. If using a sweeter apple, you may wish to adjust the amount of Heavy Simple Syrup that you use in the final drink.

15 ounces Vodka: Smirnoff works fine for infusing, but a better brand could be substituted if desired.

Chop the apples, discarding the core, and place into a 1 quart Mason jar or similar container; muddle the fruit. Add vodka and store in the refrigerator for 48 hours.

Shake jar several times a day and muddle again after the first 24 hours. At end of the two days, muddle the mixture one last time and strain the infusion by a method that works for you. I’ve used a cone coffee filter holder without a filter for this. This method allows some of the pulp to pass through which you may not desire. Filtering through several layers of cheese cloth would resolve this.

Squeeze out the vodka infused apples to get as much liquid out of them as you can. Store the resulting liquid in a refrigerator; a 17 oz glass flask works well for this purpose. The Apple Infused Vodka may be stored refrigerated for up to two weeks without a noticeable decline in quality.

As a byproduct of this process, you will have some vodka infused apples. These can be discarded or repurposed if you happen to be clever in the kitchen. I tried to make a drunken apple cake, but the alcohol flavor remained too strong. Perhaps carefully cooking the apples first would help.

Heavy Simple Syrup
1 Cup Water
1 1/2 Cups White Sugar

Combine White Sugar and Water in a heavy saucepan over medium heat. Stir until the mixture comes to a boil. Boil for 5 minutes, using a pastry brush dipped in warm water to wash down any sugar crystals that may form on the sides of the saucepan. Allow to cool and bottle.

You may notice that this recipe is between traditional simple syrup (1:1 sugar to water ratio) and rock candy syrup (2:1 sugar to water ratio). I find that this is a good balance between concentration of the syrup and shelf stability. If you already have some simple syrup handy, you may need to adjust for its sweetness in the final drink.

Graham’s Best Vodka Apple Martini
3 oz Apple Infused Vodka
1/2 oz Heavy Simple Syrup
Quarter of a Lemon, with the pips removed
Splash of Martinelli’s Sparkling Apple Cider (1/2 to 1 oz)
Thin Apple Wedge for garnish

Pour Apple Infused Vodka and Heavy Simple Syrup into a cocktail shaker 2/3 full of ice. Squeeze the Quarter of a Lemon into the cocktail shaker and drop it in. Shake well; 30 shakes works well for this drink. Strain into a martini glass, add splash of Martinelli’s Sparkling Apple Cider. Garnish with a Thin Apple Wedge.

Please enjoy the above recipe, fiddle with it, improve on it and let me know how it goes in the comment section below. It’s true that it takes a bit of time to complete, but if you try it, I’m sure that you’ll agree that this drink is worth the effort.

I’m also open to ideas about using the vodka infused apples, so if you have any ideas, let me know.

Graham is the author of Graham’s Travel Blog. When he’s not traveling, he enjoys spending time in the kitchen and maintaining his blog.

Photography by Nicole Holt, Graham’s lovely wife. Video taken on a Flip Cam.

Thank you Graham, I really like that this drink is topped off with Martinelli to give it a bit of fizz and that it is not neon green!


  1. Alison
    Posted January 14, 2010 at 9:36 AM | Permalink

    Is 8:30 in the morning too early to try this? Hmmm…probably. It sounds great! We'll have to try this soon.

  2. grahamstravelblog
    Posted January 14, 2010 at 11:22 AM | Permalink

    Alison: It's never to early to start infusing that vodka with apples. By the time it's ready, you'll be ready for one. The problem is that I've got my Apple Infused Vodka ready in the fridge staring at me each time I open the door. Maybe I should move it to the back.

  3. Mimi
    Posted January 14, 2010 at 12:13 PM | Permalink

    Now this is a martini I would actually drink.

  4. noble pig
    Posted January 14, 2010 at 12:18 PM | Permalink

    This is a fabulous recipe for a drink!

  5. Maria
    Posted January 14, 2010 at 12:43 PM | Permalink

    Great way to get in your apple serving:)

  6. Fallon
    Posted January 14, 2010 at 1:12 PM | Permalink

    mmm sounds refreshing!

    It also as a natural color to the drink, unlike that bright green you see from that sour apple liquor that is typically used in bars and restaurants!

  7. Karen
    Posted January 14, 2010 at 1:18 PM | Permalink

    This sounds to me like it'd be a perfect beginning to a Thanksgiving dinner!

  8. grace
    Posted January 14, 2010 at 3:24 PM | Permalink

    this sounds dangerous, for it's a booze that i might actually like. to date, i've been able to avoid the stuff because i hate the taste, but apples get me every time. 🙂

  9. grahamstravelblog
    Posted January 14, 2010 at 5:11 PM | Permalink

    Grace: These can be dangerous to drink as they are tasty without being cloyingly sweet.

    Fallon: It does have a mellow color to it and I like that. It's just the color that comes out of the apples, no extra dyes in this drink.

    Karen: This would even make a good end to a Thanksgiving meal though by that time, does anyone have the energy to mix cocktails?

  10. Sabrina
    Posted January 14, 2010 at 5:54 PM | Permalink

    Oh, this looks tastey. Is it Friday yet? Well, this will have to be next weekend's drink. I just bought apples at Costco. I may put them to use. Thanks for the recipe and video Graham

  11. Denise Burks
    Posted January 14, 2010 at 11:53 PM | Permalink

    Dear Graham,

    I love your writing style and choice of vocabulary. Ever so civilized and consumable, much like that Apple Martini. I'm so glad that I stumbled across you. I'll see you again soon!

    Thanks for sharing slices of your life!

    Denise Burks

  12. Elra
    Posted January 15, 2010 at 1:51 AM | Permalink

    Hmmm, delicious! I think I need one right now.

  13. DailyChef
    Posted January 15, 2010 at 3:18 AM | Permalink

    Wow, I've never gone the lengths to make my own drink from scratch. This looks fantastic. And tomorrow is Friday. woot!

  14. EAT!
    Posted January 15, 2010 at 8:23 AM | Permalink

    I like that I can make an apple martini without it being the unnatural apple color of Apple Pucker. But I am not sure that I can wait for the vodka to infuse! 🙂

  15. grahamstravelblog
    Posted January 15, 2010 at 3:25 PM | Permalink

    Denise Burks: Thank you so much for the compliments. I'll be around and I'll keep writing.

    DailyChef: This drink actually has some fairly easy to put together ingredients. I've got a bottle of rum that took me two years to track down and there's one that I'm still looking for.

    EAT!: The one picture that I didn't think about was to do a side by side of the Sour Apple Pucker and the Apple Infused Vodka. The difference is striking though.

  16. Barbara
    Posted January 15, 2010 at 5:01 PM | Permalink

    Yummy! An appletini! Going to be sure to make it from scratch, along with a cranberry drink someone wrote about online. Both look heavenly. Many thanks. Can't ever have enough ways to make a martini!

  17. unconfidentialcook
    Posted January 15, 2010 at 5:25 PM | Permalink

    I've never met a martini I've liked…but this looks worth a try for sure!

  18. Ainsley
    Posted June 1, 2011 at 2:59 PM | Permalink

    Thanks for sharing! I am definitely trying to make some apple infused vodka. Your drink reminds me of a martini that I had I Bonefish Grill. The Fresh Apple Martini was their drink special last fall. It was delicious and almost tasted like a light apple pie. It wasn't over sweet like the fake apple mixers can be and had a hint of cinnamon.

    However, I went there about mid-May, and they had a new special. Also, the waiter said they couldn't make it because the bar didn't have apple juice. 🙁 I'm using your recipe to try and replicate it. Wish me luck! If it comes out right, I'll be able to make it all the time.

    Also, Bonefish Grill uploaded a picture of it on Facebook. They decorated it with a thin slice of apple (only about 1/16"). If you sliced the apples up like that, you could use them as decoration after. However, the apple slices at the restaurant didn't taste like they had been soaked in vodka. Or just take the diced version and put on the edge of the glass like you would a slice of orange or lemon.

    Here's the link to the photo on Facebook.

    This is what is written in the caption below the photo: Celebrate the flavors of fall and indulge in our Fresh Apple Martini, hand-crafted from fall apples soaked three days in vodka.

  19. Blanca
    Posted July 30, 2012 at 2:14 PM | Permalink

    Yay thanks for using my home town’s cider!!! 🙂

  20. mitzi
    Posted October 31, 2012 at 9:00 PM | Permalink

    I added 1 and half oz of ginger liquor and 1 oz of cinnamon snapps to infusion. Left out the simple syrup.
    Can’t stop drinking. Thanks for a helping to create the bonefish fresh apple martini..

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