Though apple season may not garner the cultish following of pumpkin spice season, it’s one of our favorite times of year. That’s because the abundance of fresh apples makes for a great opportunity to incorporate the best apples into things you love–like drinks.
There’s never been a better time for booze and apples to mingle, so we’ve put together 13 of our favorite ways to get them together. We can safely say that from hot toddies and highballs to mule and Negroni-style creations, there’s a way of every apple lover to imbibe here.
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Hendrick’s Fall All Over
Hendricks offers a simple, refreshing sipper for those warmer fall days and nights, or an easy-drinking highball-style way to unwind.
Recipe by Fred Parent, Hendrick's Ambassador
1 1/2 Parts Hendrick’s Gin
3/4 Parts Cloudy (Unfiltered) Apple Juice
3/4 Parts Fresh Lemon Juice
Shake ingredients over ice and pour into a long glass. Finish with ginger beer. Garnish with grated nutmeg and long red apple slice.
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Old World Toddy
Another toddy designed to warm you up, this time with Jäger. With like this one for a little more citrus and spice--the flavors do great with heat.
Recipe by Willy Shine, Jäger Brand Meister
1 part Jägermeister
1/2 part Lemon juice
1/2 part Spiced pomegranate honey*
2 part Fresh apple cider
1 part Jamaican Aged Rum (Appleton Reserve)
1 part water
Combine and batch all the ingredients & heat up over stove. Garnish with whole cloves in an orange peel.
* Steep, clove, fresh ginger pieces & cracked cinnamon sticks in POM like making a tea. Bring to boil and let sit to chill. Fine strain the liquid and add equal parts honey. Keep refrigerated.
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Baked Apple 46
This is the bourbon lover’s ideal fall cocktail. Apple brandy plays really well with Maker’s 46, and the smoke from the cinnamon is a perfect complement to the two.
Recipe by Cody Goldstein, Founder of Muddling Memories
2 parts Maker’s 46
1/2 part Apple Brandy
1/4 part Cinnamon Syrup
2 Dashes Baked Apple Bitters
Smoked Cinnamon Stick, to garnish
Lemon Twist, to garnish 5
Combine Maker’s 46, Apple Brandy, cinnamon syrup and apple bitters into a mixing glass, fill with ice and stir for 10 seconds. Take a lighter and heat the end of the cinnamon stick. When it start to smoke rim it around the inside of the glass. Strain into the rocks glass with a 2 inch ice cube. Zest a lemon twist and put it inside.
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120 Year Itch
Apple cocktails don’t have to depend on cider, or even brandy to get in the spirit. This one uses the template for a Negroni to go off in fascinating directions, incorporating just a little apple cider reduction for a finishing touch.
Recipe by Jeff Bell & Luis Bravo, PDT
1 Orange wheel
1 Lemon wheel
1 1/2 oz. FEW American Gin
1/2 oz. Lustau Almacenista Amontillado de Sanlúcar Sherry
1/4 oz. Suze
1 oz. Apple cider reduction*
Garnish: Red Delicious apple fan
Credit: Photo by Jeff Bell
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A Fall-themed take on the moscow mule, with a bright apple character. It manages to preserve that trademark crispness the mule is known for, but with an added layer of refreshing flavor. Simple and delicious.
Recipe by Sarah Wells, Mama Ricottas, Charlotte, NC
1 1/2 oz titos vodka
2 oz house apple cider*
1/2 oz cinnamon bark simple syrup**
Shake and pour over ice. Top with 2 oz ginger beer. 3 cranberries as garnish.
*The apple cider is local apples cut and steeped with water, cloves, and honey-boiled until desired flavor and then strained.
**1 cup sugar, 1 cup water, 1 cinnamon stick, pinch of salt, pinch of cayenne. Simmer on medium heat until thick.
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Mama I’m Coming Home
A fun, toddy-style punch that mixes cider, scotch and cinnamon for the ultimate fall flavor concoction. Start serving once the weather cools off.
Recipe by Jennifer Knot, 312 Chicago
2 cups apple cider
1 1/2 cups pecan-infused Cutty Sark Blended Scotch Whiskey (or regular whiskey)
3/4 cup Fonseca Bin 27 Port
3/4 cup honey syrup
2 cinnamon sticks
Place all ingredients in a pan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and let mull for an hour. Double strain the cinnamon sticks and cloves from the hot cider. Pour into an Irish coffee mug and garnish with a soft caramel candy. Makes ten four-ounce portions.
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The Little Sparrow
Calvados and applejack combined make for a delicious fall cocktail served up for that first, bracing after-work drink of the evening.
2 parts Calvados
3/4 part Antica Vermouth or Sweet Vermouth
1/2 part St-Germain
1/4 part Applejack Bonded or Applejack
dash Peychaud bitters
Stir all ingredients and strain into a coupe. Garnish with a lemon twist. Sip languidly. (After all, this is a Sparrow, not a Swallow.)
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This cocktail mixes three brown liquors for a dry but flavorful sipping experience. Enjoy after a hard day of work or leaf-raking.
Recipe by Bryan Teoh, Porchlight, NYC
1 1/2 oz Old Forester
1/2 oz Laird's Bonded Apple Brandy
1/4 oz dried cherry syrup
bar spoon Cruzan blackstrap rum
3 dashes "Black Hand Bitters”
2 drops Cider Vinegar de Normandie
Build ingredients in a mixing glass over ice and stir briefly to chill and dilute. Strain into a rocks glass over ice and garnish with cherries.
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Peaty Scotch and fresh pressed apple juice make great teammates in a surprisingly versatile drink. We still like this one over ice for now, but a few more degrees off the termostat might change our minds.
1 1/2 oz Jura 10
1 oz fresh pressed apple juice
1/2 oz lemon juice
1/4 oz demerara syrup
Measure and mix ingredients together and serve in a coup glass with apple garnish. This libation can be served warm or chilled, depending on how Fall you’re feeling.
Credit: Image via Jura
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You don’t have to bother with apple for this cocktail; Tullamore D.E.W. already infused it into their newest whiskey release when they put out Tullamore D.E.W. Cider Cask. From there you just need two other ingredients.
Recipe by Tim Herlihy, Tullamore D.E.W. Ambassador.
1 1/2 parts Tullamore D.E.W. Cider Cask
1 part Aperol
1 dash Orange Bitters
Add all ingredients to a mixing glass, strain into a coupe glass. Garnish with an apple slice.
Credit: Image via Tullamore Dew
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Old Camp Harvest Sour
A sour-style cocktail on the sweeter side. You might not be a fan of flavored whiskey, but in this cocktail it’s a perfect and necessary component.
Recipe by Jon Howard
1oz Old Camp Peach Pecan Whiskey
1oz 100 Proof Applejack
3/4 oz Fresh Lemon
1/2 oz Local Honey Syrup*
Sliced apple to garnish
In a mixing tin pour in whiskey, applejack, lemon and honey. Add ice and shake vigorously. Strain over fresh ice and garnish with sliced apple.
*Honey Syrup: Add 1 cup local honey and 1 cup hot water in a bowl and stir until mixed well. Cover and place on counter to cool, roughly 20min.
Credit: Angelina Melody Photography