Apple and Spice and Everything Nice: 3 Cocktails for Autumn Sipping

Apple and Spice and Everything Nice: 3 Cocktails for Autumn Sipping
It may be time to bid farewell to the frozen margaritas of sultry summer nights, but don’t despair. This trio of cocktail recipes featuring the favorite fall flavors of lush ripe apple, warm cinnamon, and sweet apple pie will help make the transition to chilly nights and falling leaves considerably more enjoyable.

Three Apples Cocktail

Calvados is brandy distilled from apple cider instead of the usual wine. There may be scores of apple varieties used to blend a single type of Calvados, and some varieties feature a percentage of pears as well. In order for the liqueur to be labeled and sold as true Calvados, it must be aged for no less than two years. The older the Calvados, the smoother and more elegant it is.

Makes 1 cocktail


  • 1-1/2 ounces Calvados
  • 3/4 ounces fresh lemon juice
  • 3/4 ounces apple cider
  • 1 teaspoon apple butter
  • Crushed ice


Moisten rim of cocktail class with apple cider and dip in cinnamon sugar.
Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker and shake vigorously until very cold. Strain carefully into rimmed glass. Serve immediately.

Cinnamon Spiced Bourbon

Honey bourbon is, as its name suggests, bourbon infused with honey. Some popular brands to try are Jim Beam, Wild Turkey, and Jack Daniels. The flavor is subtle, warmly sweet, and surprisingly complex, often lingering with afternotes of vanilla, oak, and spice. It’s nice as a sipping bourbon, but I love what it does for cocktails like this one.
Makes 2 cocktails


  • 1 ounce cinnamon simple syrup (recipe below)
  • 4 ounces honey bourbon
  • 1-1/2 ounces freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 ounce ginger liqueur

For cinnamon simple syrup:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 4 cinnamon sticks


To make cinnamon simple syrup combine 1 cup sugar and 1 cup water with 4 cinnamon sticks in a small saucepan. Bring to boil; let boil 1 minute. Remove from heat and allow to cool completely. Store in refrigerator.
Combine bourbon, lemon juice, cinnamon syrup, and ginger liqueur in a shaker with ice and shake vigorously.
Fill two rocks glasses with ice and strain bourbon mixture over. Garnish with cinnamon sticks if desired.

Apple Pie Cocktail

Who doesn’t love apple pie? Be sure to use a good quality cider for the best result. If you’re fortunate enough to live in an area featuring apple orchards, maybe you can plan to do a little leaf-peeping, harvest-season multitasking, and make this with local fresh-pressed cider. It doesn’t get any better than that.
Makes 2 cocktails


  • 4 ounces bourbon
  • 12 ounces apple cider
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Pinch ground cloves
  • Pinch ground allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


Combine bourbon, apple cider, lemon juice, spices, and vanilla extract with ice; shake vigorously.

Fill two rocks glasses with ice. Strain bourbon mixture over. Garnish with apple slice, if desired.

Photos are courtesy of the author.

Sandy Smith

Sandy Smith is a freelance writer and editor based in New York's Mid-Hudson Valley.
Back to Article

Featured product

More from:
Back to Article