Apple Boilo {Everclear Recipe}

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Apple Boilo {Everclear Recipe} is a wonderful alcoholic drink that is one of those fabulous recipes that are passed down from generations to generation. A closely guarded secret that your family treasures like all the boilo-makers before them. It is made most often during the Christmas holidays.

Several glasses of the apple boilo.


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Apple Boilo {Everclear Recipe} for the Holidays

The Pennsylvania’s coal miners used the Boilo for everything from staving off the common cold to giving as gifts around the holidays. Mining was a tough job, so finishing off a tough day with this unique drink was always a pleasurable way to end the day. A whole cottage industry has sprung up around this drink popular to the Schuylkill County coal region. You can find some great accessories at Mud and Maker.

Why This Pennsylvania Coal Region Boilo Recipe is a Keeper

Boilo is a delicious alcoholic beverage that will warm your nights and keep a coal mining tradition of Poland and Lithuanian immigrants alive. Individual servings can quickly be brought to a simmer on the stove or heated up in your microwave. Here is a great article on the origins of Boilo which got it’s name because you “boil” the ingredients.

  • Easy Slow Cooker Prep: Throw the ingredients into the slow cooker and then smell that fills the house is truly heavenly.
  • Easy Ingredients: All found in pantry, laird or fridge.
  • Family Friendly: Great for large family gatherings or christmas parties.
  • Adaptable: Different citrus fruits and whiskeys can make this drink your own personal version. mix with ginger ale or others.
  • Makes Great Gifts: Share this warm spirit with your family and friends for Christmas and New Years. You may receive or give that as a gift. Boilo is shelf stable. Recreate this historical beverage this season.

If you’re looking for more cocktail inspired recipes, try these Easy Apple Pie Moonshine, Sour Apple Green Jello Shots, and Apple Mojito.

Why is it called boilo?

A close up on the sliced fruit in the beverage.

The drink got it’s name based on a traditional Lithuanian drink called krupnikas, as well as its Polish variant Krupnik. It got it’s name from how the drink is prepared: a collection of citrus fruit, spices and honey are mixed with water and then brought to a boil. They bought it to the anthracite coal region of Northeastern Pennsylvania.

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Ingredient Notes for Pennsylvania Coal Country Moonshine

Whiskey, honey, cinnamon and spices.

Short sentence about the ingredients (e.g. “only a few simple ingredients”, “all easy to find at your local grocery store”, “ones you probably have on hand”, “a few items you may need to head to the store for but you’ll be happy you did”).

Only list ingredients below that are notable, along with any tips related to choosing the right one. DO NOT LIST EVERY SINGLE INGREDIENT! This information must be useful – not just a list. Make sure you use full sentences.

  • Fruit: Granny Smith apples, sliced, lemons and oranges, halves, and fresh cranberries.
  • Cinnamon sticks: You can use for cooking in the slow cooker and also as a decoration in a coffee mug.
  • Mulling spices: You can make your own or you can purchase the spices such as whole cloves, anise, nutmeg etc.
  • Honey: A traditional spiced honey is best for the Apple Boilo {Everclear Recipe}.
  • Alcohol: You will need 750 ml bottle of whiskey, traditionally Four Queens Whiskey, made in Scobeyville, NJ and 750 ml grain alcohol, such as Everclear or high proof alcohol to the libation.

See the recipe card below for a complete list of the ingredients with measurements.

Variations and Substitutions for Polish Christmas Drink Boilo Cocktail

You can add the whiskey of your choice. Stir in a blended whiskey to the drink to warm your winter nights. Boilo is traditionally made with the ingredients that they have. It is up to the boilo makers.

  • Ingredient variation: You can use any alcohol but make sure you use at least 80 proof. You need high-octane booze.
  • Ingredient substitution: Make with raspberries or other fruit you wish.
  • Cooking variation for this traditional boilo recipe: Make on the stovetop in a large pot bring the mixture to a boil and then add the remaining ingredients except the whiskey and other alcohol. Then strain out the mash.

Special Equipment Needed for Everclear Apple Pie Boilo

Make this recipe in a crock pot or slow cooker. You can also make this on the stove top if you prefer.

  • Slow Cooker: This is one of those wonderful cocktails that you can put into a shot glass or add to a cocktail or warm apple cider.

How to Make Boilo with Apple, Oranges and Lemons

As always, it is important to remember women should not drink alcoholic beverages during pregnancy because of the risk of birth defects. Consumption of alcoholic beverages impairs your ability to drive a car or operate machinery, and may cause health problems.

These are the basic steps for making Apple Pie Boilo. Refer to the full, printable recipe card below for detailed instructions.

Pouring the ingredients into the slow cooker.

STEP 1: Make a batch of Boilo in Crock Pot and Bring Mixture to a boil

First, place fruit, spices, honey, apple cider and cranberry juice into a large slow cooker. Then cook on high at a slow simmer for four hours or until fruit is broken down and next strain remaining fruit pulp and mulling spices from the mixture. Then let the mixture cool to room temperature.

STEP 2: Adding the Alcohol and add Whiskey

Next, stir in the whiskey and grain alcohol to the remaining ingredients once mixture is cool. Finally, transfer to mason jars with tight fitting lids and store in a cool, dry place.

Adding the fruit to the mix to cook.

STEP 3: Serve this Holiday Drink

Boilo can be served warm or cold, depending on your preference.

Adding the whiskey to the slow cooker for the Apple Boilo {Everclear Recipe}.

Recipe FAQs for Boilo Making

This Apple Boilo {Everclear Recipe} is shelf stable for up to six months or longer in the fridge. Store in airtight containers or jars. Refrigerate after opening.

Of course, like all homemade traditional drinks, there are a few constants in how it is constructed. In the Northeastern Pennsylvania region it is a custom to use Four Queens whiskey. Sales spike around the holiday time for this unique brand but you can use any kind of whiskey that you have on hand.  This drink is not for the faint of heart, as it also includes grain alcohol. I use Everclear or try krupnikas. But add whisky of your choice

A glass of apple boilo with berries and a spring of rosemary.

Expert Tips for Making This Everclear Drink Recipe

  • Krupnikas:  Is a spiced honey liqueur that combines the warm and comforting flavors of cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. This is traditionally consumed in Lithuania and Poland.
  • Make Milder: Try adding ginger ale or fruit juice like orange juice to the Apple Boilo {Everclear Recipe}.
  • Garnish: Garnish with candied fruit peels, fruit slices or spices.
  • Alternate ingredient: Caraway seeds or allspice berries can add a nice flavor.

What to Serve with Apple Pie Boilo/ More Liquor Recipes

Apple Boilo with a sprig of cranberries.
5 from 16 votes

Apple Boilo {Everclear Recipe}

Yield: 6 quarts
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 4 hours
Cooling: 1 hour
Total: 4 hours 10 minutes
Boilo is a wonder alcoholic drink that is one of those fabulous recipes that are passed down from generations to generation. A closely guarded secret that your family treasures like all the boilo-makers before them. It is made most often during the Christmas holidays.
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⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️Did you try this recipe? Please leave a star rating and review below!


  • 4 Granny Smith apples, sliced
  • 4 Oranges, sliced
  • 4 Lemons, sliced
  • 12 ounces Fresh cranberries
  • 8 Cinnamon sticks
  • ½ cup Mulling spices
  • ½ cup Honey
  • 32 ounces Cranberry juice
  • 32 ounces Apple cider
  • 750 ml Whiskey, traditionally Four Queens Whiskey is used
  • 750 ml Grain alcohol, such as Everclear


  • Place fruit, spices, honey, apple cider and cranberry juice into a large slow cooker.
  • You may need to use two slow cookers to get everything to fit – if so, evenly split all of the ingredients between the two slow cookers.
  • Cook on high for four hours or until fruit is broken down.
  • Strain fruit and mulling spices from the mixture.
  • Cool to room temperature.
  • Add whiskey and grain alcohol once mixture is completely cooled.
  • Transfer Boilo to mason jars with tight fitting lids and store in a cool, dry place.
  • Boilo can be served warm or cold, depending on your preference.

Expert Tips

  • Make Milder: Try adding ginger ale or fruit juice like orange juice to the drink.
  • Garnish: Garnish with candied fruit peels, fruit slices or spices.
  • Variation tip: Feel free to add as many tips as you need in this section
  • Alternate ingredient: Caraway seeds or allspice berries can add a nice flavor.
  • Alternate cooking method tip: Boil the fruit mash on the stove top in a large stock pot and reduce to a slow simmer. Then squeeze out the fruit and stir in the alcohol to the liquid per the recipe card instructions below.

Estimated Nutritional Information

Calories: 988kcal | Carbohydrates: 103g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 1g | Sodium: 15mg | Potassium: 739mg | Fiber: 12g | Sugar: 81g | Vitamin A: 395IU | Vitamin C: 113.5mg | Calcium: 138mg | Iron: 1.9mg
The nutritional information provided are estimates. To learn more about how I calculate this information go to
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Course: Beverages and Cocktails
Cuisine: American

This recipe is my personal adaption of an ethnic-inspired recipe. It is not intended to be an authentic recipe.  I’ve recreated this recipe because I enjoy the flavors and I want to encourage my readers to expand their tastes and try new flavor combinations. The recipe, ingredients, and processes may have been adapted to make the recipe accessible to the average American. I have provided links to authentic versions of the recipe in the post above. I encourage you to visit these pages and learn more about the traditional version(s) of this recipe.

9 thoughts on “Apple Boilo {Everclear Recipe}”

  1. Can I make boil-o with half or only a third of the honey? Or no honey at all? (this would be for diabetic drinkers).

    Thanks for any advice

  2. 5 stars
    I’ve made this recipe and one with different fruit in it. Turned out really good except it got thick both times after it cooled. Not sure what I’m doing wrong. I did strain it before adding the alcohol. Any input would be greatly appreciated. Thanks

    • I’m not sure why it would get thick for you. I’ve made it a number of times and it’s never gotten thick.

  3. If I could, I would say that I grew up on boilo, but I grew up around it! Always had an uncle or two that made it and it was a (Russian) Christmas staple. And weddings! The bridal dance always ends with a shot of boilo!

  4. 5 stars
    I’ve never heard of it, but I love the backstory on this beverage! My husband is from the Pittsburgh area, so I’ll have to ask him about it.

  5. 5 stars
    This would be the perfect drink for winter parties and gatherings. It’s so easy and bet the house will smell great!


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