Honeymoon Cocktail

Classic Honeymoon Cocktail

Michael Boyny / StockFood Creative / Getty Images

Prep: 3 mins
Cook: 0 mins
Total: 3 mins
Serving: 1 serving
Yield: 1 cocktail
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
197 Calories
0g Fat
17g Carbs
0g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 1
Amount per serving
Calories 197
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 5mg 0%
Total Carbohydrate 17g 6%
Dietary Fiber 1g 3%
Total Sugars 16g
Protein 0g
Vitamin C 10mg 50%
Calcium 10mg 1%
Iron 0mg 0%
Potassium 28mg 1%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

The honeymoon cocktail is a fascinating apple brandy sour that has been enjoyed for over a century. It's an interesting mix—a little sweet, a little dry, a little citrus—and a really well-designed cocktail overall.

This was one of the signature cocktails from the Brown Derby in Hollywood, California. It was probably featured alongside other 1930s legends of that famous bar, like the Honolulu cocktail, though the drink is actually dated to before Prohibition. The recipe was first printed in a 1916 bartending guide by Hugo Ensslin, quite plainly titled "Recipes for Mixed Drinks."

Over the years, the recommended apple brandy has flipped from applejack to calvados and either is fine. You'll also find variations that prefer triple sec, though curaçao is a drier orange liqueur, which really is a necessary element against the other sweet ingredients. Along with a little lemon, Benedictine is the undisputed ingredient, bringing its high-proof punch of herbal goodness to the mix. It's a very fine classic cocktail you're sure to love.


  • 2 ounces apple brandy

  • 1/2 ounce Bénédictine Liqueur

  • 1/2 ounce orange curaçao liqueur

  • 1/2 ounce lemon juice

  • Lemon peel, for garnish

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. In a cocktail shaker, pour the apple brandy, Bénédictine, curaçao, and lemon juice.

  3. Fill with ice, and shake well.

  4. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

  5. Garnish with a lemon peel. Serve and enjoy.


  • Laird's Applejack is one of the best options for that American style of apple brandy. Other brands to look for include Cedar Ridge, E&J, Paul Masson, St. George, and Santa Fe.
  • French calvados offers a number of options as well. Most are not from well-known brands, but they're rarely disappointing and the apple flavor tends to be more pronounced and brighter. Pick up any bottle you see and try it in this cocktail.
  • Be sure your orange curaçao matches the quality of the brandy you choose. Marie Brizard and Señor Curaçao are two excellent options to look for.
  • Though always recommended, fresh lemon juice is definitely preferred here. The average lemon yields just over 1 1/2 ounces of juice, enough for a few cocktails.

Recipe Variations

  • Though an equal pour of each of the accent ingredients is most common and traditional, some drinkers prefer to tweak them. For instance, one variation pours 1 1/2 ounces apple brandy, 3/4 ounce Benedictine, 1/4 ounce triple sec, and 1/2 ounce lemon juice.
  • In true sour drink fashion, you can also add an egg white to this cocktail. It will give the drink a luxurious texture and foamy top, but not add a real eggy flavor. If you go this route, ensure your egg is fresh and shake the cocktail harder and longer than normal to ensure the egg is thoroughly mixed in.

How Strong Is a Honeymoon Cocktail?

Like most drinks served in the martini style, the honeymoon cocktail is a very strong drink. It should mix up to an alcohol content of 29 percent ABV (58 proof).