Is it really fall if you don’t have apple cider? Sure, you can put on your favorite sweater, watch the leaves change and carve some pumpkins, but unless you have that sweet sip of apple-flavored goodness, it just doesn’t feel right.
If you’re on board with all things apple cider, too, consider taking it up a notch and combining it with your favorite spirit! Haven’t tried this? Boy oh boy, do I have a treat for you! From rum and whiskey to vodka and bourbon, here are eight apple cider-based cocktails you have to try this fall!
Let’s start off with some shots, shall we?! This recipe for Captain Apple Pie Plankers from Captain Morgan actually calls for apple juice, but using cider instead will only make it that much better!
1. Captain Apple Pie Plankers
- 6 oz. Captain Morgan Original Spiced Rum
- 20 oz. of unsweetened apple juice (or cider)
- 3 tbsp. (about 3 packages) of unflavored gelatin powder
- ¾ cup of sugar
- ¾ tsp. of ground cinnamon
- Garnish: whipped cream, caramel
- Pour the apple juice into a saucepan, sprinkle the gelatin evenly over the top, and let it sit for 2 minutes.
- Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat and make sure the gelatin is fully dissolved.
- Stir in the sugar and cinnamon until dissolved.
- Remove the mixture from the heat and allow it to cool to room temperature.
- Stir in the Captain Morgan Original Spiced Rum and pour the mixture into shot molds.
- Place the molds in the freezer for at least 4 hours, so the mixture can cool and solidify.
- Top each shot with whipped cream, caramel and a dusting of cinnamon before serving in clear shot glasses.
This recipe serves up 16 shots.
If you like whiskey, this Monarch Orchard drink from Redwood Empire Whiskey is for you! Along with whiskey, you’ll also need nocino or amaretto, honey syrup, fresh lemon juice and, of course, apple cider!
2. Monarch Orchard
- 1.5 oz. Redwood Empire Lost Monarch Whiskey
- .25 oz. nocino (amaretto may be used in place of nocino)
- 1 oz. honey syrup
- 1 oz. fresh lemon juice
- 2 oz. apple cider
- Add all ingredients to a shaker filled with ice.
- Shake well.
- Strain into coupe or cocktail glass.
- Garnish with thin slice of apple.
Nocino is a traditional Italian liqueur made from unripe, green walnuts and often flavored with a variety of traditional warm baking spices, making it a delicious complement to apple cider. If nocino is unavailable, amaretto may be used in its place.
Honey syrup is honey that has been diluted 1:1 with hot water.
Sticking with whiskey, this Melbourne Apple Sour recipe calls for two ounces of Starward Two-Fold Whisky, although you can obviously use whatever whiskey you like best. You’ll also need lemon juice, simple syrup, egg white and apple cider to top it off.
3. Melbourne Apple Sour
- 2 oz. Starward Two-Fold Whisky
- 3/4 oz. fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 oz. simple syrup
- 1/2 oz. egg white
- Apple cider, to top
- Combine ingredients except for the apple cider in a shaker without ice.
- Shake vigorously to whip up the egg whites.
- Add ice and shake again until very cold.
- Double strain into a coupe glass and float apple cider on top.
Another rum recipe, this BACARDÍ Treacle recipe calls for BACARDÍ Reserva Ocho, but you could probably use any rum you’d like and still get similar results. It also calls for sugar syrup, apple cider and orange bitters.
4. BACARDÍ Treacle
- 2.5 parts BACARDÍ Reserva Ocho
- 0.25 parts sugar syrup
- 1 part freshly-pressed apple juice or cider
- 2 dashes orange bitters
- Build over ice rocks until perfectly diluted.
- Float apple juice or cider last.
- Garnish with an apple slice.
5. Sparkling Apple Bourbon
- 3 oz. apple cider
- 1.5 oz. bourbon
- Spindrift Lemon
- Pour cider and bourbon over ice.
- Top with Spindrift Lemon.
- Garnish with apple slice.
This Apple Crisp cocktail from SKYY Vodka uses their SKYY Infusions Honeycrisp Apple and while it does not actually call for apple cider, SKYY suggests adding a splash of cider for an extra apple-y kick!
6. SKYY’s Apple Crisp
- 2 oz. SKYY Infusions Honeycrisp Apple
- 1 oz. Cinzano® 1757
- 1 dash Angostura bitters
Add apple cider if desired, stir and garnish with lemon peel.
If sangria is your favorite fall drink, this Absolut Juice Apple Sangria sounds like a must! Not only does it use Absolut’s Juice Apple, which is made with real fruit juice, but you’ll also add red wine and triple sec. You could also substitute regular vodka and add more apple cider, too. It’s all up to you!
7. Absolut Juice Apple Sangria
- 1 1/2 part Absolut Juice Apple
- 2 parts red wine
- 4 dashes Angostura bitters
- 1/2 part triple sec or orange liqueur
- Splash of apple cider
- Mix all ingredients in a glass with ice.
- Garnish with orange slices, apple slices and grapes.
This rum cocktail requires a bit of time on the stove. All you need is Captain Morgan Original Spiced Rum (or any rum), apple cider, cinnamon syrup and optional apple slices and cinnamon sticks. You’ll be heating all the ingredients to make this a hot cider, then just stirring to combine!
8. Captain Morgan’s Hot Cider
- 1.5 oz. Captain Morgan Original Spiced Rum
- 3 oz. Apple Cider
- 0.5 oz. Cinnamon Syrup
- Garnish: apple slice, cinnamon stick
- Build in glass and heat ingredients.
- Stir to combine.
- Add garnish.
- Serve in a clear mug.
These will make any fall day better. Will you be making any of these apple cider cocktails in your kitchen soon?