2:39 PM / Thursday September 29, 2022

2 Oct 2020

Adding apple cider to popular drinks will make them fall favorites when cool weather hits

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October 2, 2020 Category: Food And Beverage Posted by:

By Karen Rankin 

When cold weather arrives, hot chocolate, eggnog, and spiced tea are all the rage. Sometimes, however, you would like a seasonal alcoholic beverage — if only for the holidays.

Most holiday beverages can easily be spiked with spirits and liquors. People often forget that one of the best winter drinks is apple cider, which is made even better with the likes of bourbon, rum, and tequila, to name a few.

Here’s what apple cider isn’t: apple juice, or hard cider. There isn’t a defined legal standard on the difference between apple cider and apple juice, which is why many brands use the names interchangeably for marketing purposes.

To be clear, fresh apple cider is usually raw apple juice that hasn’t gone through a filtration system to remove the pulp and other sediment from the apple.

Apple cider can be unpasteurized, unlike apple juice, which is typically pasteurized to prevent fermentation and to prevent spoilage. Hard apple cider is a fermented alcoholic beverage.

When snuggling up on a cool autumn evening, here are a few of the best alcohols to pair with apple cider for wonderful seasonal drinks: 

Apple Cider Sangria

Apple Cider Sangria has just the right amount of alcohol, and it is super simple to put together, making it the perfect fall cocktail. Apples are seasonal and delicious, and they’re even better when soaked in the sangria for several hours. The color is golden and clear, and it’s lovely in the glass with ice cubes and fruit slices—but it’s also gorgeous in a punch bowl for a party. Best of all, this gets better the longer it sits, since it gives the fruit and booze more time to intermingle. This Apple Cider Sangria is even classy enough to serve for Thanksgiving with appetizers or afternoon snacks before the big meal. 

Apple Cider Sangria

Apple Cider Sangria


4 cups apple cider (such as Martinelli’s) 

1 1/4 cups brandy 

3/4 cup ginger liqueur (such as Domaine de Canton) 

1 pound small honeycrisp apples, cored, halved, and cut into thin wedges 

2 medium (about 7 oz. each) navel oranges, halved, halves thinly sliced crosswise into half-moons 

2 medium (about 7 oz. each) bartlett pears, cored and cut into 1-in. chunks 

1 cup pomegranate arils 

2 (3-inch) cinnamon sticks 

1 (750-milliliter) bottle Dry Prosecco

How to make it:

Stir together cider, brandy, liqueur, apples, oranges, pears, pomegranate arils, and cinnamon sticks in a 4-quart container or punch bowl. Gently stir in Prosecco. Chill at least 1 hour or up to 8 hours or overnight. Serve chilled sangria over ice with plenty of fruit in each glass.  

Apple Cider Margarita

An Apple Cider Margarita is the perfect, easy-to-shake-up cocktail for your next fall happy hour or holiday party. Serve it on special occasions (this drink was practically made for Thanksgiving) or cozy fall nights in. This autumnal twist on a summer favorite is easy to make as it is to drink (seriously, it’s stronger than it tastes—don’t say we didn’t warn you). Instead of salt, we’ve rimmed this margarita glass with cinnamon sugar. 

This simple recipe serves two and comes together in just five minutes. But, if you’re planning to serve a crowd, you can easily adapt the recipe to accommodate more people. Just mix it up in a punch bowl instead of a cocktail shaker!

Apple Cider Margarita

Apple Cider Margarita


2 ounces fresh apple cider 

1 1/2 ounces tequila 

1 ounce Cointreau 

1 tablespoon fresh orange juice 

2 lime wedges 

2 teaspoons cinnamon sugar 

2 cinnamon sticks, for garnish (optional)


2 apple slices, for garnish (optional) 

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