Washington Apple Cocktail

Washington Apple Martini garnished with an apple slice

The Spruce Eats

Prep: 3 mins
Cook: 0 mins
Total: 3 mins
Serving: 1 serving
Yield: 1 cocktail
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
128 Calories
0g Fat
10g Carbs
0g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 1
Amount per serving
Calories 128
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 3mg 0%
Total Carbohydrate 10g 3%
Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
Total Sugars 9g
Protein 0g
Vitamin C 9mg 47%
Calcium 6mg 0%
Iron 0mg 0%
Potassium 24mg 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 Washington apple is a fabulous and fun drink. It's a tasty whiskey cocktail that mixes Crown Royal, apple schnapps, and cranberry juice to create a deliciously fruity, sweet, and sour drink. You'll also be delighted to know that it's incredibly easy to mix up.

Over the years, the taste of the Washington apple has gained notoriety in the bar alongside other appletini-like recipes. It's so popular that it's served as a classy martini, a party shooter, or on the rocks in either a tall or short glass. 

If you go the tall route, add more cranberry juice to taste. Otherwise, in all versions of the drink, the ingredients are poured equally, which makes this an easy drink to remember.

"The Washington Apple is the first 'cocktail' I ever remember ordering as a college student. It is sweet, slightly tart, and pleasing in short bursts. This recipe is as balanced as you can get with these ingredients and highlights the appeal of this cocktail." —Sean Johnson  

Washington Apple Cocktail on a wooden table
A Note From Our Recipe Tester


  • 1 ounce Canadian whisky

  • 1 ounce sour apple schnapps

  • 1 ounce cranberry juice

  • Apple slice, for garnish

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for Washington apple cocktail recipe gathered

    The Spruce Eats

  2. Pour the ingredients into a cocktail shaker filled with ice.

    Washington apple cocktail ingredients poured into a cocktail mixer with ice

    The Spruce Eats

  3. Shake well.

    Washington apple cocktail shaken in a shaker

    The Spruce Eats

  4. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

    Washington apple cocktail being strained into martini glass with ingredients in the background

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  5. Garnish with an apple slice. Serve and enjoy.

    Washington apple garnished with apple slices

    The Spruce Eats


  • Any whiskey can make a nice Washington apple. Crown Royal is the original brand of choice, but other Canadian and blended whiskeys are excellent as well.
  • While sour apple schnapps is often used in the Washington apple, it's an excellent drink without the sour bite. Try it with an apple liqueur from a brand like Berentzen or an authentic German apple schnapps such as those made by Schönauer and Siegburg.
  • Once cut and exposed to oxygen, the flesh of an apple will turn brown rather quickly. To slow down oxidation and keep your apple garnishes looking fresh, squeeze lemon juice over the slices.

Recipe Variations

  • On the Rocks: Build the ingredients in an ice-filled old-fashioned or highball glass and stir well. Add an apple slice or more cranberry juice if desired.
  • As a Shot: Shake 1/2 ounce of each ingredient with ice and strain into a chilled shot glass. Crown Royal's official mix is a little different: 1 1/4 ounces whisky, 1/4 ounce apple schnapps, 1 1/2 ounces cranberry juice.
  • Some drinkers prefer their Washington apple with a splash of soda. Choose a lemon-lime soda like 7-Up or go with club soda or ginger ale. It can be added to any style of drink; pour just a splash in martinis and shots and add a bit more to tall glasses.

What's the Best Crown Royal Whisky for a Washington Apple?

Crown Royal has a vast lineup of Canadian whisky to choose from and many are all great in the Washington apple. Deluxe is the standard bottle that's often simply referred to as Crown Royal, and the most commonly poured in this drink. Crown Royal Black is a good upgrade (particularly for the martini version) with a bolder flavor that will punch through the fruits. The Rye and Blenders' Mash may be a little too spicy, while the other unflavored whiskeys cost a bit more and might be best enjoyed straight or in a Manhattan. Crown Royal Apple will accentuate the drink's apple flavor, but the brand's vanilla and peach flavored whiskeys will give it a little more sweet, fruity depth.

What Is the Best Sour Apple Schnapps?

Taste is always subjective and one person's idea of the "best" sour apple schnapps may be different from yours. The most popular brand is probably DeKuyper Sour Apple Pucker, and some of its fame is likely attributed to the fact that it's incredibly easy to find. Sour apple schnapps do vary in taste and quality, so it's worth checking out other options. Brands like Bols, Leopold Bros., Mr. Boston, and Mr. Stacks deserve a taste, particularly in the Washington apple.

How Strong Is the Washington Apple?

When mixed with ice using 80-proof whiskey and 30-proof schnapps, the Washington apple weighs in around 16 percent ABV (32 proof). That's relatively light compared to other martini-style drinks and shots. However, sweet drinks like this can be deceiving because the sugars make you thirstier, so it's easy to have one too many. You can combat that by drinking some water in between Washington apples.

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