Let’s get ready for the colder months coming with this apple cider margarita recipe!
This delightfully warm, boozy drink pulls together sweet-tart apple cider, a splash of tequila, and pleasantly smoky cinnamon. It’s an autumnal take on the classic summer cocktail and makes for a cozy holiday treat for Thanksgiving and Halloween.
What Is a Margarita?
A margarita is a cocktail made with tequila, citrus juice, fragrant spices, and garnishes of choice. It’s often served shaken or blended with ice and in glasses rimmed with spiced salt or sugar.
The apple cider margarita we’ll be making today is full of cozy fall flavors. It’s perfect to sip on in holiday gatherings, especially next to a fire with a blanket on chilly fall evenings.
Is Apple Cider a Wine?
No, it’s not.
Apple cider is a general term for an unfiltered, unsweetened, and non-alcoholic beverage made from apples. It usually comes in an orange-brown with an opaque look.
Be careful not to misuse apple cider with hard cider. Apple cider isn’t alcoholic, but hard cider is — it’s made by fermenting fruit juice, with yeast added to convert fruit sugar into alcohol.
Our autumnal sipping cocktail is made simple with the lovely pair of apple cider and tequila, flavored with lime juice and a pleasantly smoky cinnamon sugar rim.
1. Apple Cider
It feels like apple cider always perfectly symbolizes the arrival of autumn, especially as the main mixer in cocktails. The freshly pressed apple juice makes a wonderful flavor base for liquor and spices to be mingled on top.
If you want to learn how to make apple cider at home, our Instant Pot apple cider recipe with detailed instructions could be worth a read.
2. Tequila for This Drink
Quality tequila is very important in making a tasty margarita. Tequila delivers a smooth, light, crisp touch of flavor to complement the apple cider and lime juice in our margarita.
A dilettante should be concerned about three main types of tequila: Blanco, reposado, and añejo. Different palates will enjoy tequila of different ages.
Blanco tequila is the youngest on the aging spectrum. It’s grassy herbal, naturally citrusy, and hotter than its aged peers, with pure and vivid agave flavors.
The bold, fiery flavor profile of Blanco tequila isn’t made for straight shots but rather for cocktails with complex mixers.
Reposado rests between Blanco and añejo tequila on the aging spectrum. Reposado sits long enough to lose the original flavor of agave juice and pulls tannins from the wooden barrel to develop complex and warm notes of caramel and honey.
Reposado tequila is hard enough to support mixing cocktails and is best served over ice.
Leave reposado longer in the barrel, and you’ll get añejo. Añejo is usually aged 1-3 years. After that extra time, the tequila darkens further and takes on more flavor characters from the wood. It’s intensely harsh with even bolder caramelized notes.
3. Lime Juice
You surely cannot enjoy apple cider margarita without a citrusy touch from either fresh lime juice or orange juice. It pairs perfectly with the sweetness of apple cider and the crisp, rich tequila.
4. The Sugar and Cinnamon Rim
Although rimming your glass with cinnamon sugar isn’t necessary, it still adds extra sweetness and a pleasantly lovely look for our fall margarita. You can either use icing sugar, granulated sugar, organic cane sugar (with larger crystals), cane syrup, or even replace sugar with honey if preferred.
5. Other Garnishing Options
Garnishing is always a fun step as you’ll get to play the decorating game with your drink and finish it off with extra special fragrances. Feel free to get fancy with these options:
Lime or apple slices
A sprig of rosemary
A smoky cinnamon stick
A star anise
A pinch of cayenne for a spicy kick
How Long Is This Drink Good for?
Apple cider margarita can last well in the fridge for up to a week. You can also rim the serving glasses with sugar beforehand and keep them in the fridge.
This cocktail is a perfect treat for a crowd as you can prepare a large batch of it (without adding ice cubes) and chill it ahead of time. When the time comes, serve it straight out of the fridge, ice cold.
Remember that after days of sitting in the fridge, our cocktail will need a few shake-ups to get the ingredients mixed one more time before drinking.
To freeze apple cider margarita, add all the chilled ingredients to a blender with ice cubes, pulse until it’s slushy, and pop it in the freezer. The frozen drink can last up to 3-4 months.
Let's get ready for the colder months coming with this apple cider margarita recipe! This delightfully warm, boozy drink pulls together sweet-tart apple cider, a splash of tequila, and pleasantly smoky cinnamon. It's an autumnal take on the classic summer cocktail and makes for a cozy holiday treat for Thanksgiving and Halloween.
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.
Lizzie Streit is a Minneapolis-based dietitian and founder of It’s a Veg World After All. She completed her MS in Human Nutrition from Drexel University, and is an expert in culinary nutrition, recipe development, and nutrition communications. Lizzie’s philosophy is centered around making nutrition recommendations, and especially the advice to eat more vegetables, approachable and realistic. She is excited to be working with the team at Healthy Recipes 101 to ensure that their recipes are both nutritious and delicious.