How To Keep Apple Slices Bright For A Whiskey Cocktail Garnish

Closeup of a whiskey cocktail garnished with fresh apple slices and mint
Closeup of a whiskey cocktail garnished with fresh apple slices and mint - Gingagi/Getty Images

Apples and whiskey cocktails are a classic, seemingly natural duo. And while oxidation may also be totally natural, it doesn't look all that great when it comes to food. Oxidation is what happens when oxygen and the polyphenol oxidase (PPO) enzymes in apple flesh come into contact with each other. The plant cells then deteriorate, and the result is a less-than-appetizing brown discoloration and shriveled texture. Luckily, to curb these effects, all it takes is a little acidity.

Keep your apples looking crisp and fresh for your mixology masterpieces by soaking 'em in a lemon water solution immediately after slicing. The acidic pH creates a protective barrier, inactivating the PPO enzyme and keeping the oxygen off the fruit's exposed surface area. One tablespoon of freshly squeezed lemon juice per cup of room-temperature water will do the trick. You can coat those delicate slices with a quick soak in the lemon water, but it's worth noting that submerging your apple slices for prolonged periods might cause them to break down and lose some structural integrity.

Any longer than five minutes is probably too long. Alternatively, to expedite the process, you could also just squeeze half a lemon over your freshly cut apple slices and then immediately use them to assemble impressive whiskey cocktails. With the simple addition of lemon juice, those apple slices will stay a bright white for at least a full 30 minutes, allowing you (and your cocktail hour guests) to sip leisurely.

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Lemon Juice Can Liven Up Whiskey And Apple Cocktails

Two whiskey cocktails garnished with fresh apple slices
Two whiskey cocktails garnished with fresh apple slices - Irina Rostokina/Shutterstock

A little lemony edge could even be a welcome citrusy addition to some apple-whiskey cocktails, like a classic three-part spritzer with Crown Royal Regal apple-flavored whisky, lemon-lime soda, and cranberry juice, stirred together over ice in a highball glass and garnished with fresh apple slices. Coat the rim with coarse sea salt to drive the mouth-watering profile home. Fresh, white, lemon-tinged apple slices (and a few mint leaves) would also be delicious atop a Whiskey Lemonade for poolside sipping this summer.

Or, lean autumnal and combine whiskey, lemon juice, and ginger ale -- topped, of course, with fresh lemony apple slices and a cinnamon sugar rim. You could also swap the lemon juice here for acidic apple cider to make a toddy-inspired cocktail. Or, go sophisticated with Jack Daniel's, funky non-filtered apple cider, a sprig of fresh rosemary, and your lemony apple slices. Like apple juice, which pairs perfectly with whiskey, apple slices also belong in the realm of classic whiskey cocktail culture.

Use them to garnish an apple cider Old Fashioned, or to put a spin on the nostalgic Honeymoon cocktail with Crown Apple, herbal Bénédictine liqueur, orange curaçao, and lemon juice. You can also flex some fancy flair by crafting a reimagined Appletini using Calvados, lemon juice, lime juice, simple syrup, and sour apple schnapps, swapping the vodka for whiskey or Scotch. Shake it over ice, fine-strain it into a chilled martini glass, garnish it with a skewer of lemon-soaked Granny Smith apple slices and brandied cherries, and enjoy.

Read the original article on Tasting Table