October 31 was the night I strained the apples from the fortified brandy. The batch originally started out with two quarts of brandy plus one of Everclear but after pouring the liquid through a fine mesh steel strainer into new jars I came up with slightly less than two quarts. The rest was absorbed into the apples. I tasted one slice. It had quite a strong alcohol burn and was crispy. The crispness surprised me at first as these were soft apples to start with. They must have been de-watered by the alcohol and perhaps some other changes occurred like protein denaturing. A little acetic acid and formaldehyde and perhaps I would have some good specimens for microscope slides. These, however, will be run through a blender and frozen for some spicy and spirited cookies.
I put the strained solution into new jars but first tried a sample with water. The ratio was one finger of apple-brandy-everclear solution to three fingers of cold water in a small glass. The taste and aroma of the apples did come through and the drink was smooth. Some recipes call for the addition of sugar in the steeping process but I did not add any to my batch. With the Centennial crab-apples I used it seemed better not to add sugar as they are already very sweet. Adding sugar would have made this syrupy.
Now the jars of solution will sit in a cool dark place for another two months at which time it will be ready for drinking. Coincidentally this happens to be on December 31.