Posted October 11, 2016

Falling for Apple Cocktails

Eat + Drink

Is any fruit more all-around-American than the humble apple? But look beyond classics like pies and juice and you’ll find a tart-sweet flavor that can hold its own alongside robust green herbs, pleasantly acidic citrus, warm spices – and your distillation of choice. Apple of our eye? Absolutely.

Beetlejuice, Bacchus Bar (Portland, OR)


Basil-infused Beetlejuice from bartender Bryan Galligos.

For the cocktail:

  • 1.5 oz. Calvados apple brandy
  • 1 oz. apple cider
  • 0.5 oz. rosemary-flavored simple syrup
  • 0.5 oz. lemon juice
  • 5-7 basil leaves


  1. Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake well so the basil leaves are “bruised” and release their flavor.
  2. Strain into a martini glass. Garnish with a fresh, whole basil leaf.


Can You Feel The Buzz Tonight? Pennyroyal (Seattle, WA)

Can You Feel The Buzz Tonight cropped

Bartender Benjamin Harris draws inspiration from apples and bee pollen.

For the cocktail:

  • 2 oz. St. George pear brandy
  • 0.75 oz. lemon juice
  • 0.5 oz. honey/bee pollen syrup
  • 0.25 oz Amaro Mantenegro
  • 0.5 oz apple cider
  • 1 egg white
  • A sprinkle of bee pollen


  1. Combine all ingredients into a cocktail shaker and shake dry.
  2. Add ice and shake a second time.
  3. Using a fine mesh strainer, pour into a chilled parfait glass. Garnish with a fan of thin apple slices and a sprinkle of bee pollen.


Far From the Tree, Bar Drake (San Francisco, CA)

Bar Drake_Far from the Tree cropped

“Bright luscious apple meets dark notes of maple, with lemon for a bit of zest.” Bartender Travis Briere

For the cocktail:

  • 5 oz. Laird’s AppleJack liqueur
  • 0.5 oz. lemon juice
  • 0.25 oz. ginger shrub
  • 0.25 oz. Domain de Canton liqueur
  • 0.25 oz. honey
  • A float of Crispin Hard Apple Cider (preferable “The Saint”), to taste
  • Slice of lemon peel, for garnish


  1. Combine all ingredients except the apple cider in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake well.
  2. Pour into a coupe glass.

To finish with the float:

  1. Measure 0.25 – 0.5 oz. apple cider (to taste). Hold a teaspoon with the rounded side down over the glass.
  2. Slowly pour the apple cider over the inverted teaspoon so it flows gently onto the surface of the drink. Garnish with a slice of lemon peel, if desired.


Fall in the 305, LILT Lounge (Miami, FL)

Fall in the 305

Looking just like autumn, from bartender Spencer Taliaferro.

For the cocktail:

  • 2 oz. Mount Gay rum (Taliaferro’s blend)
  • 1 oz. Banyuls dessert wine
  • 1 oz. apple shrub
  • 1 oz. Carpano Antica vermouth
  • 2 dashes apple bitters
  • A spiced apple chip, for garnish


  1. Combine all ingredients in a mixing beaker. Add ice and stir well.
  2. Strain into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with a spiced apple chip.


Mamma I’m Coming Home, 312 Chicago (Chicago, IL)

Mamma I'm Coming Home cropped

Bartender Jennifer Knott’s sweet and spicy drink goes down smoothly.

For the cocktail (Serves 10):

  • 2 c. apple cider
  • 1.5 c. Cutty Sark Blended Scotch Whiskey (or regular whiskey)
  • 0.75 c. Fonseca Bin No. 27 Port
  • 0.75 c. honey syrup
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 7 cloves
  • Caramel candies, for garnish


  1. Place all ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and let mull for one hour.
  2. Double strain the cinnamon sticks and cloves from the hot cider.
  3. Pour into an Irish coffee mug. Garnish with a soft caramel candy.


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