This elegant autumn cocktail from Gramercy Tavern in NYC is made with fresh cider and apple brandy, plus a little bourbon for kicks. A little herbal complexity is added by steeping fresh thyme in the simple syrup used to sweeten the drink.
This drink dates back to the 1800s, but it's still delicious. You start with a tart, fresh apple, roasted until soft and sweet. Each mug gets an apple half that's muddled with apple brandy (and a little sugar or maple syrup) and mixed with boiling water.
Apple Fennel Punch
This complex rye-based punch from Fino in Austin, Texas gets its apple flavor from Schönauer apple liqueur and Bar Keep apple bitters. An unusual syrup made with fennel seeds and fennel pollen keeps everything interesting.
Apple Crisp Cocktail
This is one of our favorite fall drinks, made with apple brandy, lemon, honey, and bourbon that's been infused with cardamom pods.
This hot whiskey-and-tea punch comes from Prime Meats in Brooklyn. The apple flavor comes from boiled cider, which you can buy at specialty stores, or make yourself by cooking down a gallon of fresh cider.
The Honey Ryder
This contemporary cocktail was inspired by the Appletini, but also by the classic Vesper. In Poland, bison grass vodka is often mixed with apple juice. Here, it's shaken with an apple-infused gin, plus Lillet Blanc to round out the flavor.
Pumpkin Bourbon Cider Milkshake
We don't always want our cocktails in milkshake form, but when we do, this rich combination of ice cream and pumpkin, bourbon and apple cider reduction is just about perfect. It's totally worth making the maple whipped cream garnish, too.
This potent punch can stand up to a few hours of ice melt, so it's great for the kind of party that's going to last. Gin and lime keep things fresh and herbal, while applejack provides the boozy center. By muddling orange slices with the peels, you add a little sweetness and a bitter edge to cut it.
Hard Cider and Crème Yvette Sparkler
There are plenty of traditional sparkling wine cocktails that are delicious with a little hard cider in place of the bubbly. Here's a simple one: just your favorite cider and a splash of gorgeous Crème Yvette.
This drink appeared in a 1927 cocktail book; our version comes from Jim Meehan of PDT. Bonded apple brandy is the base, sweetened with fresh orange juice and dark maple syrup. A little lemon keeps things bright.
Sweet New Year Cocktail
We created this drink for Rosh Hashanah, but the flavors are right for any fall celebration. The core of the drink is Laird's Applejack, which is sweetened with honey liqueur. Fresh mint keeps things bright.
This cocktail from Sepia in Chicago starts with apple brandy from Normandy, but then veers in a tiki-like direction with rum and spiced falernum. Think of it as a brief autumn vacation.
Apple Blow Fizz
You've probably had a fizz made with gin before, but this one's just right for October, based on 100-proof apple brandy, and frothed up with a fresh eggwhite.
Pomme en Croute Cocktail
This rosy applejack cocktail gets its color (and bittersweet flavor) from a little Campari. Fresh orange juice adds sweetness, and there's some lemon to balance.
Sazerac and Cider
Hard cider is surprisingly good with a little absinthe and rye in this seasonal riff on the Sazerac.