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The Forbidden Fruit

As with all spirits, there is a perfect time to open a bottle of sour apple schnapps and shake up a neon-green Appletini. We just don’t know when that is…and it’s certainly not now.

With the arrival of autumn comes a huge selection of apples—from crisp Gala and tart Granny Smith to tender McIntosh. Fortunately, the many apple varieties only add to this delicious fruit’s allure and versatility, allowing it to be juiced, sauced, puréed, pressed, grilled, baked, fermented and otherwise transformed into fodder for the mixing glass. We should celebrate the perfectly ripe fruit with a special toast, if for no other reason than that the apple is responsible for one of America’s earliest distilled spirits.


For an apple cocktail recipe, we went right to the source: Jeff Grdinich, bar manager of the White Mountain Cider Company in Glen, N.H. He uses several apple ingredients in his delicious Cidertini (pictured above). The key to the drink is his homemade apple-cider reduction and a splash of lemon juice, which tempers the sweetness.

Tad Carducci, half of the duo behind New York City-based cocktail consultancy the Tippling Bros., has also used many forms of apple in drinks. (One recipe even called for Pennsylvania apple butter, a brown spread of spiced, slow-cooked apples.) More recently, he developed the Alfie’s Apple, which calls for both apple cider and a Mexican apple soda, for the Mercadito restaurant group’s fall menu.

So, no matter how you slice them, it’s the season to be drinking apples.

Alfie’s Apple

Contributed by Tad Carducci


  • Chinese five-spice powder
  • Sugar
  • 1 oz Mezcal
  • 1 oz St-Germain
  • .5 oz Lemon juice
  • .25 oz Honey syrup (1 part honey, 1 part warm water)
  • 1 oz Fresh apple cider
  • 3 dashes Peychaud’s Bitters
  • 2 oz Sidral Mundet (Mexican apple soda)
  • Garnish: Apple slice
  • Glass: Tall


Combine equal parts five-spice powder and sugar, and use to coat the rim of a tall glass. Fill the glass with ice and set aside. Add the remaining ingredients except the Sidral to a cocktail shaker and fill with ice. Shake vigorously and strain into the prepared glass. Top with the Sidral and stir gently. Garnish with an apple slice.


Contributed by Jeff Grdinich


  • 1.5 oz Applejack
  • .75 oz Fresh apple cider
  • .25 oz Grand Marnier
  • .25 oz Cider Reduction*
  • .25 oz Lemon juice
  • 1 dash Regans’ Orange Bitters
  • Garnish: Grilled or raw apple slice
  • Glass: Cocktail


Add all the ingredients to a cocktail shaker and fill with ice. Shake vigorously and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a grilled or raw apple slice.

*Cider Reduction

Add 16 ounces (2 cups) of fresh apple cider to a small saucepan over low heat. Cook until reduced to about 2 ounces (quarter of a cup). Chill before using.

Series & Type: Trends
Appears in 1 Collection

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