September 02, 2022 by Sonja Edridge
After a gorgeous long summer, fall weather is something to look forward to. And warm cocktails to sip slowly will definitely help with the transition to colder weather. With apples being the hero seasonal fruit, cocktails with apple brandy (applejack or, as the Frenchies call it, Calvados) are always a pleasure!
1. Apple Brandy Negroni
The dependable deliciousness of the classic Negroni gets a tasty seasonal twist when stirred with apple brandy. Known as a Mela d’Alba in Italy, this apple brandy recipe is rich and spicy with all the usual Negroni feels. Classically, a Negroni calls for an equal 1 oz mix of gin, Campari and vermouth but, to make an Apple Brandy Negroni, swap out the gin for a double shot of apple brandy for all the warmth and richness. What is not to like?
2. Jack Rose
The Jack Rose is an elegant prohibition cocktail that’s stood the test of time. This pretty-in-pink drink is a shake of apple brandy with a squeeze of fresh lime or lemon juice for acidity, finished with a dash of grenadine and occasionally a dash of bitters. It was a go-to favorite sip for prominent authors like John Steinbeck and Hemingway. With or without bitters, this apple brandy recipe is a quick cocktail to whip up; to make shake 1½ ounces of applejack with ¾ ounce lemon or lime juice with a handful of ice and a dash of grenadine. One of those perfect cocktails with apple brandy for chilly night in with friends.
3. Apple Brandy Old Fashioned
An Old Fashioned is utterly delicious classic cocktail, typically with a whiskey base and of Scottish heritage. Mix in a little sugar, bitters and a citrus peel and you have a deliciously simple vintage style drink. Switching the oaky whiskey for warm caramel apple brandy can only enhance this fantastic combination. What can go wrong? Just sip slowly, it’s one of the apple brandy drinks that’s spirit-forward and packs a punch.
4. Hot Apple Cider
This tasty hot sip has all the quintessential fall flavors of apple, cinnamon and honey. It’s easily everyone’s favorite apple brandy cocktail. Get this hot toddy on the go easily in a crockpot for chilly nights in with friends. Mix your favorite apple cider (or perry) with honey and lemon, spice it up with cinnamon and apple brandy and it’s mug ready. It will give you all the apple pie feels in just one sip.
5. Apple Brandy Hot Toddies
Looking for a simple hot toddy to warm you up? This apple brandy cocktail is so simple to make in a crockpot for easy sipping fireside with friends. Warm up a couple of cups of water with the same quantity of your favorite apple brandy. Add a few cinnamon sticks for some spice and sweeten with a few tablespoons of honey. Simmer for a short while, add a squeeze of lemon juice and off you go!
6. Spiced Apple Brandy
Channeling sugar, spice and all things nice, this apple brandy cocktail is oh-so tasty on a fall evening. Chilly nights in welcome the warmth that spices like ginger and cinnamon bring. Mix a pinch of your favorite fall spices with 2 oz apple brandy and apple juice and a squeeze of lemon. Shake it up with a handful of ice, and add a dash of simple syrup if desired. Make it pretty with a sugar and spice rim and apple slice garnish.
If you’re not from Michigan (or identify as a Michigander) then you may not be familiar with this drink. This lesser-known zesty cocktail is a mix of 1 oz each of applejack and botanical amaro Cynar (made from artichoke leaves), ¾ oz each of lemon juice and honey syrup and finished with a tangy twist of grapefruit. Impress your Michiganders and serve up their go to fall apple brandy cocktail.
8. Apple Brandy Sour
When you’re on the hunt for a fall apple brandy cocktail that’s not overtly sweet, an Apple Brandy Sour is a perfect find! Sour by name and sour by nature, this drink is tangy but with the sweet undertones of caramel apple brandy. Mix one up with 2 oz of apple brandy, 1 oz of freshly squeezed lemon juice for all the tang, ¾ oz simple syrup, 3 dashes of aromatic bitters and ½ oz of egg white or aquafaba (for a vegan version). Shake with a little ice and strain into an old fashioned glass. For a full retro look, garnish with a slice of lemon skewered with a maraschino cherry!