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Food & Drink

All jacked up

Making 80-proof applejack at home is cheap, fast and easy

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After two weeks you should see a healthy layer of sediment at the bottom of the jug. This means your fermentation worked, and you should have a cider that's somewhere between 5 percent and 6 percent ABV. Tasting it will reveal that it's not the best cider anyone's ever made, but hey, that's why we're freezing it. Using the spigot on the jug, gently pour the cider into the empty (and sanitized) 1-gallon jugs, being careful not to slosh and stir up the sediment. Cap the jugs and put them in the freezer for a day or two.

Once they're frozen, you'll note that you have something akin to an apple slurry. That's because alcohol doesn't freeze at home-freezer temperatures, meaning that's your delicious applejack sloshing around in there. To get at it, turn the jug upside down over the sanitized Mason jar. The applejack will dribble out (though you may need to poke at the ice to let it out). Once you think you've got it all, go ahead and give it a taste.

What you should be feeling is a slight burn. That's because if you concentrated two gallons of a 5 percent ABV beverage down to a quarter of a gallon, you now have a 40 percent ABV beverage, or 80 proof liquor. (Math! It makes drunkenness possible!)

It should taste a lot like concentrated apple cider: generally pleasant. But it gets better the longer it sits in the cold, so don't be afraid to stuff it in the back of the fridge (with the lid covered loosely in case it's still fermenting) and let it mellow out. Drink it chilled straight out of the jar for a hillbilly thrill, or try mixing it with club soda for a refreshing late-summer drink.

For more applejack serving suggestions and cocktail recipes, visit Salivation Army blogs.orlandoweekly.com/salivationarmy

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