elixir of the bytecode god

I've held off posting this recipe because it's reverse-engineered from a non-public recipe either created or modified by someone I know. This is how I make the drink tech staffers know as 'apple pie.'


  • cheesecloth
  • 2 sticks cinnamon
  • 20 cloves
  • 20 allspice berries
  • 2T lemon juice (~1 lemon)
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2tsp vanilla extract
  • 1½-2 cups everclear
  • 1 gallon apple juice, not from concentrate


Put spices in cheesecloth. Bash until cracked a bit. Put cheesecloth hunk in pot.

Find out how far up in the pan 2 cups of juice rises. Mark something with that level (like a straw), and add 2 more cups juice. Simmer down to 2 cups, and take your time! The longer the spices steep in the juice, the more flavor you'll get.

Remove bag, add sugar, stir until all sugar is dissolved. Add lemon juice, extract. Stir.

Add back to juice in original container. Add alcohol. Shake or stir to combine. Taste—I sometimes add up to about 4T of sugar depending on my preference.

Drink like a tech staffer: early and often.


  1. Consider using cider, if you can afford it. It's more expensive, but the taste is right. Or, if you're making two gallons, make it with half cider and half juice.
  2. Good spices make a difference. Don't believe me? I get mine from penzeys.com and I get asked how I got such a fabulous spice aroma into my pie. That's how. Spend the money. It's worth it.
  3. More booze is not better. Be smart. Start with 1½ cups alcohol, and taste the finished mixture before you decide to make it more alcoholic. Experience has taught me that 2 cups seems to be the upper limit; any more than that, and the apple taste is blown away by the burn of the alcohol.


You might want to add an explicit "Allow to cool to room temperature" step before adding the alcohol.

One other thing...if you want to spend the extra money... Use vanilla bean. Split the bean in half and put the bean in the cheesecloth. It really does make a difference.