Apple cider is many things. It’s gluten-free. It can be a little sweet. It can be a little tart. It can taste almost like beer, but not quite. While the alcoholic beverage was perhaps most common in the 1600s, it's gaining in popularity today, even among the homebrew culture crowd. Drinking cider from the bottle may be the familiar way to imbibe, but there are many innovative and delicious ways to incorporate the fruity alcohol into seasonal cocktails you’ll want to drink all autumn long.
When it comes to your go-to drink, you might be able to make a hard cider version of it. Apple cider mixes in well with ginger beer to bring your Moscow mule to autumn. Hard cider mixed into sangria can help you transition from summer-like temperatures into fall, even when the weather doesn’t match up. Hard apple cider can even add flavor notes to your average old-fashioned. There are a number of ways to sneak hard apple cider into the cocktail you’re making—all you need is the right recipe. We’ve done some searching, and we’ve found five great hard cider recipes you need to try this fall.
Apple Butter Old Fashioned
Cozy up with this bourbon and apple butter combo from Half Baked Harvest. In it, homemade apple butter, cider, lemon, orange bitters, and bourbon are mixed and topped with ginger beer. This simply sweet drink is not overpowering, so you’ll be able to sense the delicate autumnal flavors.
Sparkling Cherry Apple Cider
Instead of using those canned cherries for pie filling, toss them in this Sparkling Cherry Apple Cider from Chelsea’s Messy Apron. The drink, mixed with the cherry simple syrup and sparkling apple cider is delicious both with calorie-free sparkling apple water and full sweetness traditional cider. Top it off with a cinnamon stick for the ultimate showstopper.
Apple Blackberry Hard Cider Sangria
If your fall is a little on the warmer side, this refreshing apple blackberry hard cider sangria from Hola Jalapeno will hit the spot. Loaded with apples in the form of fresh slices, hard apple cider, and sparkling apple soda, this cocktail throws in juicy blackberries and lemon slices, too. Don’t forget the calvados.
Apple Cider Moscow Mules
Moscow mules may be perennial favorites, but adding apple cider to it, like in this recipe from Boulder Locavore, injects a little fall festivity. To make, split the ginger beer amount with the hard cider so you can avoid overpowering tastes. Continue the theme with apple slices as a garnish.
Haunted Orchard Cocktail
The Haunted Orchard Cocktail from Half Baked Harvest is more than a bottle of hard cider. It’s a festive fall cocktail whose final presentation is sure to wow your crowd. Garnish the drink with a cinnamon stick and apple slices, and the tequila, apple cider, maple syrup, ginger, and cinnamon will look and taste great.