Cocktail & Other Recipes By Spirit Other Whiskey Cocktails

Washington Apple

Washington Apple cocktail in a coupe glass garnished with an apple slice
Image: / Tim Nusog

The Washington Apple is a crisp, tart cocktail that is a breeze to make and even easier to drink. As the story goes, the drink was created in the late-1980s, after a nasty bug decimated much of Washington state’s apple orchards. An enterprising man named Christof Guycoogan fermented and distilled those ruined apples to make apple liqueur, which complemented his favorite drink: Canadian whisky mixed with a splash of cranberry juice.

The combination of Canadian whisky, apple liqueur and cranberry juice proved popular throughout the ensuing decade, and it’s still a common call today at bars across the country.

Any Canadian whisky can work nicely in this cocktail, and the apple element is typically supplied by bright-green sour-apple schnapps. If you’d like to add a crafty element to the drink, try replacing the schnapps with a high-quality apple liqueur or even Calvados, a French apple brandy. This will net great apple flavor, with less tartness (the cranberry already provides plenty of that) and without any artificial flavors.

The Washington Apple cocktail is also popular served as a shot. You can make a smaller version of the original by simply reducing each ingredient and keeping the ratios the same. Shake everything, pour the liquid into a shot glass, and down the delicious drink in one sip. A Washington Apple each day may not keep the doctor away, but it can enliven any occasion.


  • 1 ounce Canadian whisky

  • 1 ounce sour apple schnapps

  • 1 ounce cranberry juice

  • Garnish: 1 apple slice


  1. Add the Canadian whisky, sour apple schnapps and cranberry juice into a shaker with ice and shake until well-chilled.

  2. Strain into a coupe glass.

  3. Garnish with an apple slice.