You can whip up a tasty, tart, and refreshing Washington Apple in just minutes.
This apple-flavored cocktail is served in a martini glass, but it’s not your usual appletini. Instead, it uses Canadian whisky, apple liqueur, and cranberry juice to create a sweet but sour cocktail that looks and tastes like apples!
This is a great cocktail for fall, but its classic flavors are delicious any time of the year.
The history of the Washington Apple cocktail is a bit murky, but the drink became popular in the 1980s.
It’s rumored that the drink was created as a response to a bug that destroyed many of Washington state’s prized apple orchards.
In the ultimate act of making lemons out of lemonade, Christof Guycoogan took these blighted apples and distilled them down to apple liquor.
He mixed the liquor with Canadian whisky and cranberry juice, and this classic drink was born.
What started as a happy accident quickly became a country-wide sensation, as this tart and delicious drink’s popularity grew throughout the decade and remains a favorite cocktail in many bars today.
How to Make a Washington Apple Drink
It’s easy to make, delicious to drink, and is destined to become a perennial favorite for years to come. Even better, you don’t need to go to a bar to enjoy this drink. You can make it for yourself right at home with simple ingredients that you already probably have on hand.
- 1 ounce sour apple schnapps, apple liqueur, or apple brandy
- 1 ounce fresh cranberry juice
- 1 ounce of your favorite Canadian whisky
- 1 apple slice to garnish
- Combine the apple schnapps/liqueur/brandy, cranberry juice, and Canadian whisky into a chilled, ice-filled shaker
- Shake vigorously to thoroughly combine all ingredients
- Strain and pour into a coupe glass or shot glass
- Garnish the rim with your apple slice
Washington Apple Variations
You can use any Canadian whisky that you’d like to make this drink, as well as sour apple schnapps for the trademark tartness. Here are some variations to try:
- If you want something less sour, you can use another apple liqueur or even apple brandy for a different flavor profile.
- Washington Apple Shot: This drink is also popular as a shot! Use smaller proportions to turn this cocktail into a tasty shot.
- On the Rocks: If you prefer your drinks a little more diluted, serve this cocktail on the rocks instead of shaken.
- Sparkling: Add a splash (or more) of club soda, ginger ale, or even Sprite for a lighter, bubbly version of this cocktail.
- If you want to get fancy, you can replace standard schnapps with Calvados; an apple brandy from France, or other high-end apple liqueur.
By using a higher-end brandy or liqueur, you can elevate the drink, cut back on tartness, and eliminate artificial flavors completely. One of the best parts of this drink is how you can customize it to your taste.
Washington Apple FAQ
What is a Washington apple drink made of?
The Washington Apple is made with Crown Royal whisky, sour apple schnapps, and cranberry juice.
Why is it called a Washington apple?
The cocktail is called a Washington apple because it was created after bugs destroyed Washington state’s apple orchards in the late 1980s.
Is Crown Apple whiskey or bourbon?
Crown Apple is a Canadian whisky! The Washington Apple recipe actually calls for Crown Royal without the apple flavor, but you can use Crown Apple if you want your drink with more apple flavor.
Is the Washington Apple Cocktail the same as a Washington Apple Shot?
Yes! The recipe is the same, but the Washington Apple shot is made in a smaller size for shot taking. You can use the Washington Apple cocktail recipe to make a round of shots.