Crab Apple Whisky Recipe | Abel & Cole

Crab Apple Whisky

Cooking time
Serves10-12 people

This is miles faster and easier than crab apple jelly.If you haven’t any crab apples, you can swap them for just about any fruit: slices of clementines, diced eating apples, pears…

6 ratings
layout 4 comments


  • About 750g crab apples
  • 70cl bottle of whisky
  • 5 tbsp honey or sugar
  • 3 slices of fresh ginger

Taken from our cookbook, How to Eat Brilliantly Everyday by Abel & Cole (Ebury Press, £18.99) Photography by Gary Congress

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1. Give your crab apples a good wash and dry. Halve. Place in a 1 ltr jar. Top up with whisky as you chop and add them. Swirl in the honey or sugar. Tuck in your ginger slices or any other spices you might want to add (a cinnamon stick, halved vanilla pod, cardamom, cloves).
2. Make sure the apples are fully covered by the whisky. Secure the lid. Let it infuse till Christmas, or longer if you can wait. If you can, leave it for up to 3-5 years, it’ll veer towards the likes of Calvados. So, maybe make one for now, and one for later.
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This is soooo good. Thanks Cocktail Queen for the tip about the chillie flakes, makes all the difference. It made great Christmas presents for friends at work, most came back for more. Making double quantities this year, but I don't have as many crabapples so I'm topping it up with chopped cider apples!

always up for something new


very easy to prepare and - I am told as I hate whisky - it produces a lovely whisky for autumn and winter drinking. I use any leftovers to make crab apple and chilli jelly which is fab with goats cheese.

Cocktail Queen


I made this last year, substituting my preferred bourbon for whisky. I also added a stick of cinnamon, a few allspice berries and a couple of dried hot chillies for extra spice. Turned out to be delicious on its own and a great base for autumnal cocktails. It's almost gone now, so I'll be making a fresh batch this week ??

Grendel's Mother


I was very keen on trying this - I quite like whisky, and I'd never met a crab apple before. I should have looked more closely at the photograph here! Crab apples are SO MUCH smaller than real apples ... preparing them took me well over an hour, and was one of the most soul-destroyingly dull jobs I've ever done in the kitchen (and I cook for my family every day). It was also difficult to clean the crab apples adequately: no matter how much I washed them, I kept finding bits of black. Still, everything looked pretty once it was in my shiny new Kilner jar. Fast forward three weeks and I opened the jar excitedly - only to be horribly disappointed by the taste: cheap whisky with a extra kick of horrible sourness. Maybe I should've used a single malt. It is only fair to say that my husband loves this, though! I may simply not be the right audience for this recipe. And I'm quite prepared to be told that there is a fast and effective way of preparing the little blighters. One rec