Our apple cider cocktail recipe is an unconventional combination of homemade cider and alcoholic spirits. It’s the perfect drink for you to enjoy on a Friday night after a hard-working week.
Is Apple Cider a Juice?
To understand the distinction between apple cider and juice, we must understand their production processes first:
Fresh cider is raw apple juice that has not been filtered to remove any pulp.
In order to make fresh cider, first, manufacturers collect and wash apples. Then, they cut and grind them into a mash with a consistency that resembles apple sauce.
This mash is then wrapped in cloth and compressed by a hydraulic press to extract the juice. This juice will be bottled and labeled as apple cider.
Apple juice undergoes a filtration process where pulp or any remaining solids are removed. This is the reason why apple juice has a much clearer appearance compared to apple cider. After that, the juice will be pasteurized to expand its shelf life.
Of course, when mixed with alcohol, we can no longer say it’s healthy.
Today’s apple cider cocktail recipe requires only 6 ingredients:
Apple cider: We’re using our easy to make apple cider; click the link to check out the recipe. If you don’t have the time to make it yourself, it’s OK to use your favorite store-bought product.
Grand Marnier: This liqueur has a sugary, orange, and vanilla aroma. Surprisingly, its taste isn’t sweet at all, but rather slightly bitter and quite sophisticated.
Whiskey: Many people may enjoy whiskey neat, but its strong caramel, oaky, spicy flavor makes it the perfect ingredient for an apple cider cocktail recipe.
Lemon juice: It adds fresh, citrus flavors to the cocktail and masks the strong alcoholic smell.
Thyme: Its warm, earthy aroma fits perfectly with this cocktail. Don’t try to use any other herbs otherwise your cocktail will have an odd flavor profile.
And ice: It will keep the drink chilled and fresh, making it more pleasant to sip.
What Alcohol Mixes Well With This Cocktail?
Besides Grand Marnier and whiskey, here are a few other alcoholic spirits that go well with apple cider:
Light rum: This versatile spirit is like a blank canvas for you to throw any color on due to its mildly sweet and subtle flavor profile. This makes it one of the best cocktail ingredients.
Brandy: Generally, brandy has a fruity, flowery, and oftentimes, citrusy flavor. It’s also a great substitute for whiskey thanks to its similar warm, oaky scent.
How to Garnish This Cocktail
Cocktails are all about aesthetics, so here are a few suggestions on how to make your drink more visually appealing:
Fresh fruits: Put a slice of apple in your glass and it will add an extra fruity note to the drink.
Herbs: Add a sprig of thyme to your cocktail to give it a warm aroma and contrast in colors. We recommend gently slapping the thyme sprig against the palm of your hand to release its inner oil before garnishing.
Lemon peel: Use a sharp peeler to remove a piece of lemon zest. Twist it and drop it in to let the citrusy perfume permeate into the cocktail.
All of these garnishes should float on top of the cocktail or sit on the edge of the glass. As you sip, the fruity/herby/citrusy scent will fill your nose and mask the alcoholic smell.
How Long Does It Last?
Both alcohol and lemon juice have preservation properties. They will help to keep your apple cider cocktail fresh for about three days in the fridge.
We recommend storing the beverage in an airtight bottle or container to prevent the alcohol from evaporating and the cocktail from losing flavor.
That being said, we encourage you to make a new cocktail every time you’re thirsty for a boozy drink. It only takes 5 minutes to make, and fresh cocktails always taste better.
More Tasty Apple Cider Recipes Coming Up!
If you’re a fan of apple cider, don’t miss out on these recipes:
Sugar-Free Apple Cider Recipe: Have a taste of autumn with our simple, sugar-free apple cider as you gaze out the window on a Sunday afternoon. You will feel the warm spices comforting your heart in every sip.
Tuyet Pham is an award-winning Saigonese chef who believes that joy is the secret ingredient to delicious food. At Healthy Recipes 101, Tuyet personally tests and simplifies every recipe, ensuring maximum flavor with minimal effort. With a background at prestigious French restaurants P’TI Saigon and Le Corto, Tuyet knows how to make every dish exceptional.
Luna Regina is an accomplished writer and author who dedicates her career to empowering home cooks and making cooking effortless for everyone. She is the founder of HealthyKitchen101.com and HealthyRecipes101.com, where she works with her team to develop easy, nutritious recipes and help aspiring cooks choose the right kitchen appliances.
Natalie Butler is a registered dietitian nutritionist with a passion to help others live their best life through food, fitness, safer beauty and a healthy lifestyle. She has expertise with a variety of diets and diseases and believes that there is no one-size-fits-all approach for health.
This apple cider cocktail is a tasty twist on the classic punch recipe, and packs a sweet kick with its combination of flavors.