By Ellen Zachos

The Kentucky Belle Cocktail

  • 2 ounces bourbon
  • 1 1/2 ounces crabapple syrup (see below)
  • 1 1/2 ounces ginger ale
  • Ice

In a shaker full of ice, combine your favorite bourbon with crabapple syrup. Shake for 30 seconds, then strain into a coupe. Top with ginger ale, or use ginger beer for a less sweet, spicier beverage.

Crabapple syrup

  • 4 cups crabapples, whole, unpeeled
  • 1 cup sugar

Harvest at least 4 cups of crabapples to make this worth your while. Rinse fruit and transfer it to a large saucepan. Add just enough water to cover fruit, then bring the liquid to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 to 10 minutes, until crabapples are soft enough to mash with a potato masher. Mash. Turn off the heat, and let the crabapples cool slightly.

Pour fruit into a jelly bag (or a strainer lined with cheesecloth), set over a bowl, and let juice drain. Don’t squeeze jelly bag or your syrup may be cloudy.

Measure the strained juice, and pour it into a clean saucepan. For every cup of juice, add one cup of sugar. Whisk sugar and juice together over medium heat until sugar is completely dissolved. Simmer syrup for five minutes, then remove from heat and allow to cool. Pour cooled syrup into bottles or jars and refrigerate. The syrup will keep in refrigerator for several months.

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