Bear Essentials: Make Your Own Crabapple Liqueur

It’s that time of year again: bears are wandering the neighbourhoods of our mountain towns, risking their lives to feast on your delicious fruit trees.

But don’t despair. Instead, let’s get wild in the name of saving the wildlife. Now’s the time to strip the crabapples off your tree and make some inexpensive boozy drinks out of your harvest. Just follow the simple recipe below.

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JUS DE POMME DE CRAB (a la Bouck family recipe)

You will need:

  • 2 x 750mL bottles of vodka (the cheapest you can find — no fancy pants here)
  • 2 cups of sugar
  • 2 cups of water
  • 4-5 x 2L mason jars
  • Helpers with mad knife skills
  • Pounds and pounds of crabapples (enough to fill your mason jars full)
  • A few hours
  • 6 weeks minimum waiting time

***This recipe can easily be doubled or tripled if you’re planning to make Christmas presents (or drink yourself silly right on through the winter).

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Step 1:

Pick your apples. If you don’t have a tree, ask your neighbour if you can help with theirs. There’s never a shortage of crabapples to be picked. There’s a bit of guesswork here, just make sure you have enough to fill your jars up.

Step 2:

Core and seed the apples and put the halves into your mason jars. No seeds go in the mix. This takes time. Friends with knife skills come in very handy here. Pour them a glass of wine. (In a pinch, you can just cut the apples in half and leave seeds in.)

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Step 3:

While you’ve got your crew working on step 2, it’s time to create your water/sugar solution on the stovetop. Make sure the sugar is dissolved in the water but you do not need to go as far as boiling it.

Step 4:

Pour the vodka evenly between your jars (they should each be about 3/4 full of vodka), and then add the sugar/water mix until each of the jars is full above the apple line. You want all of the apples to be submerged, otherwise they will begin to brown and rot.

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Would you look at these beauties!

Step 5:

Store these things of beauty in a nice dark spot in your house. You will want to tip them upside down to distribute everything around the jar about once a week.

Step 6:

After 6 weeks, or as long as you can wait, crack it open! Serve straight, on ice, or mixed with soda (Fresca is also a family fave).

Pro tip

Save one jar in a secret spot, then bring it out to enjoy while you’re making next year’s batch! Nom nom.

Kristy Davison

Kristy Davison

Kristy founded Highline Magazine in 2008, motivated by the pursuit of stories that both inspire and make us laugh at our wild ways. Her background in fine arts and design, love for reading and research, and a life spent wandering in the Rockies combine to lead the vision for the magazine. She lives for hut trips, live music, walks in the woods, and kicking back with friends in the summertime.

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