Apple cider has long been a favorite fall-time beverage that showcases the apple harvest.
Hard cider simply lets apples ferment to turn a rich apple juice into an adult beverage with as much alcohol as a glass of beer.
Hard ciders come in many forms depending on the apples used, encompassing flavor profiles from sweet to dry.
If you’re looking to embellish your hard cider with spirits or mixers, check out my list of hard cider cocktails below.
Bourbon Apple Cider Cocktail
This delicious bourbon apple cider cocktail gets an extra apple kick from Applejack, a brandy made from apples instead of grapes. The sweet apple gets a balance of smokiness from the bourbon and herbal flavoring from the thyme-infused simple syrup. Angostura bitters add a wonderfully crisp, bitter finish. This is the perfect cocktail to ring in the fall season.
Hard Apple Cider Cocktail
The ingredient that makes this Hard Apple Cider cocktail “hard” isn’t the cider but a hefty pour of rye whiskey. This is a simple cocktail that blends fresh apple cider with whiskey, maple syrup, and lemon juice. It’s sweet, tangy, and comforting, with a nice alcoholic finish, thanks to the rye whiskey.
Fig Thyme Cider Cocktail
Figs are late summer and early fall fruit, so this Fig Thyme Cider Cocktail is the best way to celebrate the season change. Using rich, sweet black mission figs together with thyme-infused simple syrup, gin, and dry hard cider; this cocktail is a trifecta of sweet, dry, and botanical. The hard cider gives it a delightfully bubbly finish.
Fireball Hard Cider Cocktail
If you’re looking for a hard cider cocktail that leaves in the warmth, look no further than this Fireball Hard Cider Cocktail. Using the fiery, spicy, cinnamon-infused fireball whiskey, sweet hard cider, and apple liqueur, this warming cocktail tastes like a liquid apple fritter.
This recipe has the option to make one or a pitcher’s worth of drinks.
Honey Crisp Spiced Hard Ciders
Honey Crisp apples are known for their sweetness and perfectly crisp, juicy texture. They’re delicious on their own, but they also make a great addition to cocktails like this spiced hard cider recipe.
This elaborate recipe has you make a honey crisp simple syrup using cinnamon and brown sugar. It then blends the apple syrup with dark spiced rum and hard cider for a sweet and spicy cocktail.
Hard Cider Spritz
This hard cider spritz is the ultimate refresher. It uses both hard and fresh cider together with rye whiskey and Aperol for a refined blend of sweet, dry, and bitter. Lemon juice adds some much-needed tang to the palate.
This is an easy cocktail to make by throwing all ingredients into a highball glass, stirring, and topping with soda for extra bubbles.
Hard Cider Sangria
The presentation of this hard cider sangria by the glass is the ultimate show-stopper to wow guests. Unlike typical sangria recipes that are usually made by the pitcher, this recipe has you pile all the ingredients into a single-serving mason jar.
Fresh apples and berries add texture and sweetness to dry apple cider, but the secret ingredient is undoubtedly a lime-flavored popsicle that acts as a lime-flavored simple syrup.
Apple Cider Whiskey Smash
This simple three-ingredient whiskey smash contains fresh cider, lemon, and whiskey for a refreshing cocktail that offers a trifecta of sweet, tangy, and smokey. Just throw all the ingredients in a shaker, and voila!
You can make it extra alcoholic by swapping fresh cider for hard cider, although you’d lose a bit of sweetness.
Apple Cider Moscow Mule
A fall-inspired take on the classic vodka cocktail, this Apple Cider Moscow Mule adds fresh apple cider to the vodka, lime, and ginger beer recipe. Sweet apple cider adds richness and a heftier mouthfeel to this cocktail, complemented by the light, bubbly spicy ginger beer.
This cocktail is a great option for Thanksgiving cocktails.
Hard Cider Julep
The Kentucky Derby may be in the spring, but you can enjoy mint julep in the fall with this Hard Cider Julep recipe. It’s a more alcoholic adaptation of the classic whiskey and mint drink, adding hard apple cider to the mix.
The mint and lime juice and simple syrup foundation work best with a dry apple cider in my opinion.
Apple Cider Margaritas
Margaritas are the quintessential Mexican cocktail, composed of lime, simple syrup, and tequila. This simple recipe tops it off with hard apple cider to add fall flavors and a delightfully refreshing carbonated finish.
These apple cider margaritas get a spicy kick from a cinnamon-sugar-dusted rim.
Hard Cider Mimosa
Try this elegant and rich Hard Cider Mimosa for your next fall or winter brunch spread. It simply swaps champagne for chilled hard cider. Apples and oranges never tasted so good together!
Many dry hard ciders have a similar palate and finish to champagne, so this is a logical switch that will also save you some money.
Apple cider comes in many forms, from dry and bubbly to sweet and juicy. Both fresh and hard ciders get equal representation on my list of hard cider cocktails.
Let me know which one is your favorite in the comments section below.
12 Hard Cider Cocktail Recipe Ideas
- Pick your favorite recipe
- Gather all the needed ingredients
- Prep a tasty cocktail in less than 5 minutes
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