5 Apple-Infused Cocktails
Just in time for the peak of apple season, here are five nifty tipples that feature the favorite fall fruit in liquid form: hard ciders, brandies and even apple pie-flavored moonshine. All are perfect for autumn sipping, so pick a drink to savor all season long.
Learn the differences between Calvados, Applejack and other apple-based liquors >>>
Recipe courtesy Mike Ryan, head bartender, Sable Bar & Kitchen, Chicago
This riff on the classic Stinger cocktail showcases an eau-de-vie made with Michigan apples as well as China-China, a French amaro-like orange liqueur.
1½ ounces Rhine Hall Apple Brandy
1½ ounces Bigallet Viriana China-China Liqueur
Combine both ingredients in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake well and strain into in a Georgian cocktail glass.
Recipe courtesy Stuart Jensen, bartender, Mercantile Dining & Provision, Denver
In addition to Calvados from France and hard cider from Spain, the secret ingredient here is a vinegar-based libation called a shrub. Try Mercantile’s housemade version, or buy apple shrub online.
1½ ounces Père Magloire Fine VS Calvados
1 ounce Caramel Apple Shrub (recipe below)
¼ ounce fresh lemon juice
1 ounce Trabanco Poma Áurea Cider
Lemon peel, for garnish
Combine the Calvados, shrub and lemon in a cocktail shaker filled with ice and shake well. Fine strain the drink into a chilled cocktail glass, and top with the cider. Twist the lemon peel over the drink to express the oils, and use the peel as a garnish.
For the Caramel Apple Shrub
8 ounces diced apple
8 ounces apple-cider vinegar
12 ounces caramelized simple syrup (1 part honey, 1 part sugar, 1 part water cooked over low heat)
1 large sprig of rosemary
Zest of one lemon
Combine all the ingredients in a mason jar and let sit for 3 days, agitating daily. Strain the mixture through cheesecloth, then bottle and refrigerate. Serve chilled.
Recipe courtesy Scott Rodrigue, mixologist, Bar Volvér, Philadelphia
Bonded apple brandy is 100 proof, and bartenders love it for adding bold flavor to autumnal cocktails like this one.
5 dried allspice berries
2 ounces Laird’s Apple Brandy
½ ounce Amontillado Sherry
½ ounce Amaro Averna
¼ ounce walnut bitters
Dried apple slice, for garnish
Muddle allspice berries in the bottom of a metal cocktail shaker. Add the brandy, Sherry, amaro, bitters and ice. Shake well. Strain the drink into an Old-Fashioned glass over fresh ice, and garnish with the apple slice.
Recipe courtesy Ole Smoky Tennessee Moonshine
Though it’s made mostly from corn, this moonshine tastes like apple pie. Sweetened and spiced, it doesn’t need much more than a little ginger ale and a quick squeeze of lime.
1½ ounces Ole Smoky Apple Pie Moonshine
1½ ounces ginger ale
Splash of lime juice
Brandied cherries, for garnish
In a mason jar filled with ice, mix the first 3 ingredients together. Garnish with the brandied cherries on a toothpick.
Recipe courtesy Naomi Levy, bar manager, Eastern Standard, Boston
The classic Jack Rose cocktail, featured in Ernest Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises, showcases all-American applejack. For the best results, use good-quality grenadine (Eastern Standard makes its own from pomegranate juice).
2 ounces Laird’s AppleJack
¾ ounce grenadine (recipe below)
½ ounce fresh-squeezed lemon juice
Dash of Peychaud’s Bitters
Lemon peel, for garnish
Combine all ingredients except the lemon peel in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake well and strain into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with round piece of lemon peel.
For the grenadine
2 cups pomegranate juice (100%)
1 cup refined cane sugar
1–2 dashes orange blossom water
Fill a small saucepan with the juice and sugar. Stir and bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer to thicken slightly. Finish with a small amount of orange blossom water. Let cool and keep refrigerated. Serve chilled.
- 2Closed Loop
- 3Apples Against Humanity
- 4Mt. Vernon’s Apple
- 5The Dolly
- 6Jack Rose