20 Favorite Apple Cocktail Recipes

Tequila Caramel Apple Pie Cocktail

The Spruce / S&C Design Studios

Apples have long been a favorite cocktail flavor. Whether it is apple cider, apple juice, or one of the tasty apple brandies, vodkas, or schnapps, the fruit is a great foundation for mixed drinks. This recipe collection offers plenty for apple lovers, from the most popular apple cocktails to some lesser-known though equally interesting drinks. And while apples may be most associated with autumn cocktails, many of these drinks are perfect for year-round enjoyment.

  • 01 of 20

    Apple Martini

    green apple martini cocktails and a cocktail shaker on a marble table

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

    Appletinis for everyone! It's the drink that adorns nearly every modern martini menu and one of the best-loved vodka drinks. The green apple schnapps recipe is always a hit. When you're in the mood for something with less pucker, transform it into a dry martini with calvados and dry vermouth.

  • 02 of 20

    Apple Margarita

    Apple Margarita
    Ross Durant Photography Photographer's Choice RF / Getty Images

    You can make margaritas in just about any flavor, and apple is no exception. This apple margarita recipe doubles up on the fruity flavor, adding both apple juice and apple liqueur. Which liqueur you choose will further define the tequila cocktail's taste: go with bright green schnapps for a tart kick or another liqueur with a truer apple flavor. Blend it or shake it as you see fit; it's fun either way.

  • 03 of 20

    Washington Apple

    Washington Apple Cocktail and Shot

    The Spruce

    The Washington apple has delighted drinkers for a few decades. It's made with Crown Royal Canadian Whisky, sour apple schnapps, and cranberry juice. Serve it up or on the rocks for a casual cocktail or mix up a round of shots for a party.

  • 04 of 20

    Jolly Rancher

    Jolly Rancher Cocktail

     The Spruce

    If you have a bottle of green apple vodka in the bar, then you're just a few steps away from enjoying a Jolly Rancher. This candy-like cocktail mixes the sweet-tart vodka with peach schnapps and cranberry juice for a fun and budget-friendly mixed drink.

    Continue to 5 of 20 below.
  • 05 of 20

    Green Dublin Apple Cocktail

    Green Dublin Apple Cocktail

    The Spruce / S&C Design Studios

    When you're looking for a drink that puts sour apple schnapps to good use, mix up a green Dublin apple cocktail. Requiring just three ingredients, it's a mash-up of an appletini and cosmopolitan with an Irish whiskey twist. Between the taste and color, it's simply irresistible.

  • 06 of 20

    Honeymoon Cocktail

    Classic Honeymoon Cocktail

    Michael Boyny / StockFood Creative / Getty Images

    Recapture the feeling of the 1930s with the classic honeymoon cocktail from the iconic Brown Derby. For this drink, you'll want to seek out a really good apple brandy to pair with Bénédictine, orange curaçao, and lemon juice. It's a refreshing twist on the brandy sour you won't want to miss.

    Buying Apple Brandy and Whiskey

    Apple brandy and apple whiskey were among the first liquors to take on the fruity flavor. Most often found classic cocktails, today's options include some low-quality apple spirits that add flavoring ingredients and sweeteners, making them more like liqueurs. For the best-tasting cocktails, seek out true apple brandy and whiskey that is distilled from or infused with real apples. Craft distilleries are doing an excellent job of revitalizing these old-time spirits.

  • 07 of 20

    Star Cocktail

    Classic Star Cocktail With Apple Brandy

    The Spruce / S&C Design Studios

    The star cocktail is another ideal way to show off apple brandy. The 19th-century recipe is the fruity spirit's answer to the Manhattan, accenting apple brandy and sweet vermouth with a few dashes of bitters and gomme syrup. It's a delightful dinner drink that will never go out of style.

  • 08 of 20

    Rustic Manhattan

    Robert Watrous' The Rustic Manhattan Cocktail

    Robert Watrous

    For a modern interpretation of the Manhattan, you'll want to grab some apple whiskey. It's an easy ingredient to make at home using your favorite whiskey. While you're at it, try a raspberry vermouth infusion, too. Combine the two with bitters, and you'll have an impressive rustic Manhattan ready to share with friends.

    Continue to 9 of 20 below.
  • 09 of 20

    Cranberry Margarita

    Cranberry Margarita With Apple-Cinnamon Tequila

    The Spruce / S&C Design Studios

    Tequila is an excellent venue for a fruit infusion as well. You'll need to make the apple-cinnamon tequila for this cranberry margarita because you won't find it at the liquor store. It takes about a week and mixes wonderfully with the cocktail's triple sec, cranberry, and lime juice combination.

  • 10 of 20

    Chimayó

    Classic Chimayo Tequila Cocktail

    The Spruce / S&C Design Studios

    Apple cider is, essentially, an unfiltered apple juice that tends to have a stronger flavor, so it's perfect for mixed drinks. The Chimayó is one of the best apple cider cocktails and a specialty of New Mexico. Once you get a taste of tequila, apple cider, and crème de cassis, it will be difficult to drink anything else.

    Apple Cider vs. Apple Juice

    The way in which it is processed distinguishes apple cider from apple juice. However, there are times when the two are nearly identical in appearance and the name on the label is simply used for marketing.

    • Unfiltered Apple Cider: True apple cider and cloudy apple juice are made by pressing the juice from fresh apples. It's left unfiltered, which gives it a cloudy appearance, and needs to be refrigerated to prevent fermentation.
    • Apple Juice: The translucent, golden-colored juice is filtered and sometimes pasteurized to make it shelf-stable. It may be labeled "apple cider," particularly when mulling spices are added for flavor.
    • Hard Cider: When apple cider is purposely fermented it creates a slightly alcoholic drink (around 6 percent ABV). Outside of the U.S., it's often just called cider.
    • Sparkling Cider: This nonalcoholic apple cider is carbonated. It makes a great substitute for sparkling wine when making mocktails like the baby Bellini.
  • 11 of 20

    Apple Cider Martini

    Apple Cider Martini
    Brian Leatart / Photodisc / Getty Images

    Apple cider martinis can be very basic or rather intriguing; this recipe takes the latter approach. It combines vodka and apple cider and employs ginger liqueur for a touch of sweet spice. While not the most common ingredient, velvet falernum's spiced sweetness makes the drink a taste sensation.

  • 12 of 20

    Apple Cinnamon Mule

    Ketel One Vodka's Apple Cinnamon Mule Cocktail

    The Spruce / S&C Design Studios

    The Moscow mule is a great drink because it's both simple and refreshing. It is also the ideal venue for a little extra flavor, and that's what you'll find in the apple cinnamon mule. The recipe adds apple cider to the vodka-ginger beer base, then gets a hint of spice from a cinnamon stick garnish to create a favorite autumn flavor.

    Continue to 13 of 20 below.
  • 13 of 20

    Apple Cider Mimosa

    Apple Cider Mimosa With Apple Garnish and Cinnamon Sugar Rim

    The Spruce / S&C Design Studios

    The mimosa is another excellent drink to play around with. When it's time for an autumn brunch, mix up the apple cider mimosa. For this recipe, you'll mix pear vodka and apple cider, then top it off with Champagne. Adding the cinnamon sugar rim is a delightful touch.

  • 14 of 20

    Old-Fashioned 101

    Old-Fashioned 101 Cocktail With Wild Turkey Bourbon

    The Spruce / S&C Design Studios

    Apple cider, sage, saffron, and brown sugar are the featured ingredients in the old-fashioned 101. It's a brilliant recipe for a robust bourbon and converts the old-fashioned into a fall drinking delight.

  • 15 of 20

    Caramel Apple Pie

    Tequila Caramel Apple Pie Cocktail

    The Spruce / S&C Design Studios

    Butterscotch schnapps sweetens up this simple tequila cocktail wonderfully. The caramel apple pie is best with a reposado tequila because the barrel-aging is a nice match to the apple cider's soothing qualities. Give it a squeeze of lemon, and the drink is ready for dessert.

  • 16 of 20

    May Day Cocktail

    May Day Cocktail - Blended Fruit Drink

    The Spruce / S&C Design Studios

    Cloudy apple juice is called for in the May Day cocktail. It's tossed into the blender along with fresh peaches, strawberries, passion fruit, and ginger, but it's no innocent slushie! This cocktail recipe for two includes a good dose of rum, and it really is as delicious as it sounds.

    Continue to 17 of 20 below.
  • 17 of 20

    Toffee Apple

    Belvedere Vodka's Toffee Apple Cocktail
    Rob Lawson / Photolibrary / Getty Images

    Forget caramel-dipped apples and mix up a toffee apple instead. This simple rendition of the appletini uses citrus vodka, apple and lemon juices, and toffee syrup. That last ingredient is easy to make at home—all you have to do is melt the toffee candy in water.

  • 18 of 20

    Apple Sour

    Colleen Graham's Apple Sour Cocktail

    The Spruce / S&C Design Studios

    A shot of juice takes the classic whiskey sour into the world of apples. The apple sour recipe prefers bourbon and substitutes simple syrup with triple sec, then adds orange bitters. It's the ideal drink for fresh-pressed juice or cider and a great way to use up your apple harvest.

  • 19 of 20

    Whiskey Cider Julep

    Whiskey Cider Julep Cocktail

    The Spruce / S&C Design Studios

    The whiskey cider julep is inspired by the mint julep. It includes the same cooling combination of lime and mint, but switches from bourbon to Irish whiskey. Topping it with hard cider adds a unique contrast that works surprisingly well.

  • 20 of 20

    Orchard Catch Cooler

    Angry Orchard Catch Cooler

    Angry Orchard Hard Cider

    For a cider cocktail that screams summer, the orchard catch cooler is a fabulous choice. The drink begins with a muddle of fresh basil and strawberries and adds fresh lime juice for a nice zing. It's the ideal base for vanilla vodka and hard cider.

Prevent Brown Apple Garnishes

Apple garnishes are fitting for these cocktails, but it comes with one fundamental issue: cut apples turn brown quickly. It's a natural reaction called oxidation that occurs when the white flesh is exposed to oxygen, and it affects other fruits like pears and peaches. There's a quick trick to keeping your fresh apple garnish looking great:

  1. Before cutting the apple, pour a small amount of lemon juice into a bowl.
  2. Remove produce stickers and thoroughly wash the apple.
  3. Cut a slice or wedge of apple and immediately dunk it into the bowl of lemon juice.
  4. Shake off any excess juice and garnish the drink.