3 Apple Flavored Cocktails Your Customers Will Love
When it comes to creating fall cocktails, as strange as it sounds, we often start by first picturing the warm colors of the season. The flaming reds, burnt oranges and deep yellows of New England’s changing leaves suggest apples, pears, pumpkins, cranberries and spices to me. Those ingredients come together to make what I like to call “cozy cocktails” that will see you through to Thanksgiving, at the very least.
As the weather gets colder, I like to add layers (just as you would with clothing) and complexity to my drinks. The easiest way to do this is to start with a mature spirit, such as spiced rum or whiskey, that already has plenty of rich flavor. (Gin can work too, but you have to play up its spicy side.) You can also take an unaged spirit and pair it with a taste of autumn, like cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, vanilla or ginger. And if you have some time, you can even infuse the liquor with these spices, or with fresh seasonal fruit.
But just because there’s a nip in the air doesn’t mean you can’t use citrus fruits or fresh juices in your creations. I find that flavorful Meyer lemon, blood orange and tangerine work really well at this time of year. Pomegranate juice is another fall favorite, and the fruit’s seeds are a great garnish that can make a clear or white drink immediately festive.
The Washington Apple cocktail is also popular served as a shot. You can make a smaller version of the original by simply reducing each ingredient and keeping the ratios the same. Shake everything, pour the liquid into a shot glass, and down the delicious drink in one sip. A Washington Apple each day may not keep the doctor away, but it can enliven any occasion.
- 1 ounce Canadian whisky
- 1 ounce sour apple schnapps
- 1 ounce cranberry juice
- Garnish: 1 apple slice
Add the Canadian whisky, sour apple schnapps and cranberry juice into a shaker with ice and shake until well-chilled. Strain into a coupe glass. Garnish with an apple slice.
Apple cocktails often get a bad rap—largely due to poorly executed Appletinis. But the versatile fruit can be used in a variety of delicious drinks, from warm winter toddies to refreshing summer coolers.
- 2 ounces dry gin
- 1 ounce apple juice
- 1/2 ounce lime juice, freshly squeezed
- 1/2 ounce honey
- Garnish: 3 apple slices
Add the gin, apple juice, lime juice and honey into a shaker with ice and shake until well-chilled. Strain into a rocks glass over fresh ice. Garnish with 3 skewered apple slices.
When fall and winter approach, tastes often turn toward autumnal flavors. That means fewer Mojitos and more drinks featuring seasonal ingredients like apples and ginger. The Manzanasada has both. It’s a tequila-and-mezcal-spiked cocktail that’s joined by apple cider, lemon juice and ginger beer, and it takes its name from manzana, the Spanish word for apple.
- Spice sugar*, to rim glass
- 1 ounce blanco tequila
- 1/2 ounce mezcal
- 1 1/2 ounces apple cider
- 3/4 ounce lemon juice, freshly squeezed
- Ginger beer, chilled, to top
- Garnish: red apple, diced
Coat the rim of a Collins glass with spice sugar, fill with ice and set aside. Add the tequila, mezcal, apple cider and lemon juice into a shaker with ice and shake until well-chilled. Strain into the prepared glass. Top with the ginger beer. Garnish with diced red apples.
*Spice sugar: Mix together 4 parts sugar, 2 parts ground cinnamon, 2 parts ground nutmeg and 1 part ancho chile powder.