Crabapple Cordial Recipe

Foraged from the streets of Truckee, CA

What do you do with crabapples?

Are crabapples safe to eat? Yes, but many people don’t because of their bitter flavor. Don’t let this abundant resource go to waste just because it tastes a little sour, use it to enhance the flavor of sour cocktails!

Where to forage

Consult a crabapple identification chart to ensure the plant you discovered is actually a crabapple. Or download the Plant Snap App for in field photo id assistance. Crabapples have diverse growth habits or tree shapes. The shapes consist of weeping (pendulous), rounded, spreading (horizontal), upright (columnar), vase-shaped, and pyramidal.

Apples and crabapples are in the rose family, Rosaceae, in the genus Malus. Crabapples are differentiated from apples based on fruit size. If fruit is two inches in diameter or less, it is termed a crabapple. If the fruit is larger than two inches, it is classified as an apple.

Fruit is borne in the summer and fall. Colors range from dark-reddish purples through the reds and oranges to golden yellow and even some green. On certain selections the fruit can remain attractive well into the late winter.

How to use crabapples in cocktails

Crabapples are commonly referred to as “bitter” or “sour” tasting – perfect for cocktails, since many beverage recipes call for bitter and sour pairings.  Try these easy to make recipes or hire Garden to Glass to make cocktails at your next party.

Crabapple Cocktail Recipe

Truckee Crabapple Cordial
8 Crabapples
1 Organic Lemon
1/2 cup Local Honey
1/4 cup Organic Raw Sugar
1 stick Organic Cinnamon
2 1/2 cup Water
Harvest crabapples from downtown Truckee. Wash and dry crabapples. Skin crabapples and 1/2 lemon, and place skins in a large bowl with 1/4 cup raw sugar. Mix until sugar begins to stick to skins. Refrigerate for 2 hours
Take skinned crabapples and cut out core. Place fruit in a blender with 1/2 cup water and juice of 1 lemon. Blend to a pulp, and store in refrigerator (easy to keep in blender with lid)
After 2 hours, remove apples from fridge and bring 2 cups water to a boil. After water boils, turn down stove to medium-high. Add bowl of skins (including raw sugar) and pulp to the water, then stir in 1/2 cup honey, cinnamon, and cook 10 minutes. Turn off stove and let sit for 10 minutes.
Pour mix through fine strainer.  Store in a tightly sealed container in refrigerator for 1 month, shaking weekly.
Crabapple Hot Toddy
1 oz Crabapple Cordial
1 stick Organic Cinnamon
2 oz Water
2 oz Bourbon
Combine all ingredients in a pot and cook on medium heat until steam rises from the pot. Do not boil. Strain and serve in a mug. Garnish with lemon wedge.
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