Impress your guests with these unique and easy-to-prepare apple cider cocktails, the crème de la crème of fall and winter drinks. 

By Ananda Eidelstein and Lauren Phillips
Updated October 14, 2020
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Apple cider cocktail recipes- ideas for apple cider drinks with alcohol (apple cider bellini)
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’Tis the season for apple cider cocktails and fall drinks. Gallons of fresh apple cider are popping up at farmers' markets, grocery stores, and seasonal celebrations, flying off the shelves as people trade their spaghetti-strap shirts for plaid flannels. Maybe you’re even getting into the seasonal spirit by making your own apple cider after a day soaking up the fall foliage while picking apples for your favorite apple recipes.

No matter what kind of apple cider you start out with, adding a few simple ingredients will help you transform this classic fall drink into an even more festive treat. Check out the creative and easy apple cider cocktail recipes below (we’ve even put together an easy-to-save, easy-to-share graphic to make trying some of these cocktail recipes even easier). There’s a sparkling apple cider drink, an apple cider sangria, and even an apple cider punch. These fun beverages using apple cider are the perfect excuse to throw a fall gathering, host your own Friendsgiving, or just snuggle up on the couch with a good book and a warm drink on a chilly day.

You’ll notice that some of the recipes for these apple cider cocktails call for simple syrup—which you can buy at the store, but as the name suggests, the sweet addition is actually pretty simple to make yourself. First, you’ll whisk together equal parts sugar and hot water until the sugar is dissolved. Then, you let the mixture chill and store it for up to one week in the fridge. That’s it! Feel free to consult our full recipe for simple syrup, which breaks down our method in more detail.

If you can't get enough apple cider recipes (and, let’s be honest, who can in autumn?), these apple cider doughnuts are one of our favorite fall desserts, and these apple cider poached apples are another great use for all the types of apples you’re about to encounter.

Apple cider cocktails - 10 cocktails and alcoholic drinks with apple cider
Credit: onethread design; recipes developed by Charlyne Mattox

Apple cider cocktails

Apple cider cocktails - Apple Cinnamon-Spiced Cocktail
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1
Apple Cinnamon-Spiced Cocktail

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This tasty apple cider cocktail is basically just an autumn twist on your favorite summer drink, the Aperol Spritz. Crisp and refreshing in every glass, this drink comes together quickly—it’s just vodka, apple cider, lemon juice, and Aperol—but tastes as good as anything you might order at the bar, especially if you splurge on the optional garnishes.

Apple cider cocktails - Cider and Pomegranate Margarita
Credit: Emma Darvick

2
Cider and Pomegranate Margarita

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It’s a margarita with cider. If you need more than that to be convinced that this is a great apple cider cocktail to try this fall, consider the fact that it contains pomegranate juice for a slightly sweet kick and is best served without ice for the strongest flavors. You’ll be ready for round-two before you know it.

Apple cider cocktails - Citrusy Cider, Scotch, and Lavender
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3
Citrusy Cider, Scotch, and Lavender

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For a lightweight fall drink that’s served cold—hey, not everyone wants hot drinks this time of year—try this cocktail, which keeps it simple with scotch, apple cider, lemon juice, and simple syrup. It’s subtly sweet with a warm, rich undertone from the scotch, which makes it perfect for early fall.

Apple cider cocktails - Boozy Apple Cider Slushie
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4
Boozy Apple Cider Slushie

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Whether it’s a warm autumn or you’re just craving a frozen drink, this spiked apple cider slushie offers fall flavors and cool refreshment in equal measure. You do need to freeze this drink, so plan ahead to make sure you have plenty of time to get that just-right slushie texture before happy hour.

Apple cider cocktails - Cider Dark and Stormy
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5
Cider Dark and Stormy

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If you love a good Dark and Stormy, then you’re bound to love one with an autumnal apple cider twist—with apple cider, dark rum, and ginger beer, this cocktail has everything you love about a good Dark and Stormy, plus some more seasonal flair.

Apple cider cocktails - Spiced Apple Kombucha Cocktail
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6
Spiced Apple Kombucha Cocktail

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A kombucha base—with apple cider, of course—adds some healthy points to this drink. It calls for spiced rum for the kick, but you have the option of making your own spiced rum (it’s easier than you think) or picking some up at the store. Either way, this is bound to be one of your new go-to casual cocktails.

Apple cider cocktails - Gingery Cider with Tequila
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7
Gingery Cider with Tequila

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For a more elevated apple cider cocktail try this concoction, which is a little more involved than most at-home cocktails—but well worth the effort. With ginger for a bit of bite and tequila for the boozy kick, this drink is an excellent option for a casual fall evening at home.

Apple cider cocktails - Cider Shandy
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8
Cider Shandy

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The classic shandy gets autumnal with the addition of apple cider in place of lemonade. Not too sweet and very light (and low-effort), this drink is perfect for movie nights or game days.

Apple cider cocktails - Spicy Bourbon-Apple Punch
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9
Spicy Bourbon-Apple Punch

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This big-batch cocktail will keep any crowd happy. A dash of cayenne pepper brings the heat, while a mix of bourbon, sparkling apple cider, and orange juice serves as the not-too-sweet base. Want to dress this apple cider punch up even more? Try a hard apple cider for a boozier blend.

Apple cider cocktails - Smoke & Spice Cider
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10
Smoke & Spice Cider

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For a smokier fall drink try this easy concoction, which has mezcal for some bite and a little jalapeño for a spicy kick. The apple cider base keeps it plenty autumnal, but the added sophistication from the smoke and spice make this cocktail perfect for a dinner party or other dressed-up gathering.

Apple cider cocktails - Molasses-Spiced Spiked Cider
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11
Molasses-Spiced Spiked Cider

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Because it’s served warm, this apple cider cocktail is perfect for a chilly fall day. It serves eight, too, so it’s a great pick for a party or a grown-ups-only trip to the pumpkin pitch or apple orchard. To take it on the go, simply pour into a sturdy thermos.

Apple cider cocktails - Cider Bellini
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12
Cider Bellini

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Just when you thought nothing could beat a mimosa or classic Bellini: A cider Bellini uses a dash of apple cider instead of peach puree (or orange juice, in the case of a mimosa) for a brunch-ready beverage that’s perfect for fall. Incredibly simple to make, these drinks are sure to impress a crowd.

Apple cider cocktails - Fall Cider Sangria
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13
Fall Cider Sangria

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Make sangria even more ready for leisurely fall afternoons and evenings by using apple cider instead of your typical juice of choice. Apple, pear, orange, and apple brandy add more fall flavors, while the white wine lets the warm color of a good cider shine.

Apple cider cocktails - Caramel Apple Punch
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14
Caramel Apple Punch

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With only four ingredients, this simple apple cider punch is a great cocktail for get-togethers where you want to spend more time on the food than on prepping drinks. Ideally, you’ll let the ingredients chill together before serving, but you can also mix up a batch last-minute and serve over ice for a group beverage no one will know you just threw together.

Apple cider cocktails - Spiked Cider Tea
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15
Spiked Cider Tea

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A hot drink makes everything better—and this rich tea (with some gin for a little pick-me-up) is sure to give your day a boost, whether you’re enjoying it on a crisp morning or as an evening treat.

Apple cider cocktails - Rum and Pineapple Punch
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16
Rum and Pineapple Punch

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Fall and tropical flavors meet with delicious results in this simple punch. The apple cider base brings the autumn bite, while pineapple, orange juice, brandy, and rum offer those rum punch flavors we all know and love.