12 Applejack Drink Recipes (From Sours to Sidecars)

Published May 23, 2022
Applejack cocktail

Applejack is one of the most versatile and valuable spirits you've never tried. From mulled wine to apple cocktails with a bit of maple syrup or some whiskey, applejack is an underrated spirit to always keep on hand. This fruit brandy, made from mashed and fermented fruit, continues to withstand the test of time from its rise in popularity during the Colonial Era in America to the present day. Consider these recipes your gateway to the world of applejack brandy.

Jack Rose Cocktail

Not quite as old as colonial applejack, the Jack Rose is a prohibition-era cocktail, one that Ernest Hemingway features heavily in The Sun Also Rises.

Jack Rose Cocktail

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Chill a martini glass or coupe.
  2. In a cocktail shaker, add ice, applejack, lemon juice, and grenadine.
  3. Shake to chill.
  4. Strain into chilled glass.
  5. Garnish with lemon peel.

Applejack Sour

Up the tart notes to complement the sweet apple flavors by whipping up a sour apple cocktail that isn't bright green.

applejack sour cocktail

Ingredients

  • 2 ounces applejack
  • ¾ ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • ¾ ounce simple syrup
  • ¼ ounce freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1-2 dashes aromatic bitters
  • Ice
  • Lemon peel for garnish

Instructions

  1. Chill a martini glass or coupe.
  2. In a cocktail shaker, add ice, applejack, lemon juice, simple syrup, orange juice, and bitters.
  3. Shake to chill.
  4. Strain into chilled glass.
  5. Garnish with lemon peel.

Applejack Rabbit

Unlike many other cocktails to emerge from the 1920s, the applejack rabbit is one that lives under the radar. It carries several of the same ingredients as the applejack sour, but with a whole different balance.

applejack rabbit cocktail

Ingredients

  • 2 ounces applejack
  • ¾ ounce freshly squeezed orange juice
  • ¾ ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • ¾ ounce maple syrup
  • Ice
  • Lemon wheel for garnish

Instructions

  1. Chill a martini glass or coupe.
  2. In a cocktail shaker, add ice, applejack, orange juice, lemon juice, and maple syrup.
  3. Shake to chill.
  4. Strain into chilled glass.
  5. Garnish with lemon wheel.

Applejack Cider

Splash a few ingredients together into a rocks glass, and you have the flavor entire apple orchard jammed into a cocktail.

applejack cider cocktail

Ingredients

  • 1½ ounces applejack
  • 2 ounces apple cider
  • ¾ ounce cinnamon liqueur
  • ½ ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • Ice
  • Cinnamon stick and dehydrated orange wheel for garnish

Instructions

  1. In a cocktail shaker, add ice, applejack, apple cider, cinnamon liqueur, and lemon juice.
  2. Shake to chill.
  3. Strain into rocks glass over fresh ice.
  4. Garnish with cinnamon stick and dehydrated orange wheel.

Applejack Old-Fashioned

Few things hit the spot the way an old-fashioned does. The bite, the sweetness, the subtle citrus...the applejack old-fashioned respects all of those experiences with a little extra flavor.

applejack old fashioned cocktail

Ingredients

  • 2 ounces applejack
  • ¾ ounce simple syrup
  • 1-2 dashes orange bitters
  • 1-2 dashes walnut bitters
  • 2-3 dashes aromatic bitters
  • Ice
  • Orange wheel for garnish

Instructions

  1. In a cocktail shaker, add ice, applejack, simple syrup, orange bitters, walnut bitters, and aromatic bitters.
  2. Stir rapidly to chill.
  3. Strain into rocks glass over fresh ice.

Washington Applejack Mule

The refreshingly classic Moscow Mule has a palette that makes it an excellent launch pad for new riffs, including altering the base spirit.

Washington Applejack Mule

Ingredients

  • 1½ ounces applejack
  • ¾ ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
  • Ice
  • Ginger beer to top off
  • Lime wheel for garnish

Instructions

  1. In a highball glass or copper mug, add ice, applejack, and lime juice.
  2. Top off with ginger beer.
  3. Stir to mix.
  4. Garnish with lime wheel.

Pink Lady

At first glance, you wouldn't assume that this classic cocktail uses applejack as an ingredient, but without that apple brandy, it just isn't as good as it can be.

pink lady cocktail

Ingredients

  • 1½ ounces gin
  • ¾ ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • ¾ ounce applejack
  • ¼ ounce grenadine
  • 1 egg white
  • Ice
  • Cocktail cherries for garnish

Instructions

  1. Chill a martini glass or coupe.
  2. In a cocktail shaker, add gin, lemon juice, applejack, grenadine, and egg white.
  3. Dry shake for approximately 45 seconds to mix ingredients and create a froth.
  4. Add ice to shaker.
  5. Shake to chill.
  6. Strain into chilled glass.
  7. Garnish with cocktail cherries.

Harvest Moon

This 1930s recipe closely mirrors the applejack sour but swaps around a few ingredients to make it star in its own right.

Ingredients

  • 1½ ounces applejack
  • ¾ ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
  • ½ ounce orgeat or almond syrup
  • ¼ ounce simple syrup
  • Ice
  • Orange peel for garnish

Instructions

  1. Chill a martini glass or coupe.
  2. In a cocktail shaker, add ice, applejack, lime juice, orgeat, and simple syrup.
  3. Shake to chill.
  4. Strain into chilled glass.
  5. Garnish with orange peel.

Applejack Manhattan

Just like the old-fashioned, the apple brandy softens the usually sharp and bitter Manhattan to something a bit softer.

Ingredients

  • 2 ounces applejack
  • 1 ounce sweet vermouth
  • 3-4 dashes aromatic bitters
  • Ice
  • Cherry for garnish

Instructions

  1. Chill a martini glass or coupe.
  2. In a mixing glass, add ice, applejack, sweet vermouth, and aromatic bitters.
  3. Stir rapidly to chill.
  4. Strain into chilled glass.
  5. Garnish with cherry.

Applejack Sidecar

A dry cocktail, the sidecar has sour flavors that brandy carries quite nicely. By using an apple brandy, the sidecar takes on a fruitier spin without losing its spirit.

Ingredients

  • Lemon wedge and sugar for rim
  • 1½ ounces applejack
  • ¾ ounce orange liqueur
  • ½ ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • Ice
  • Orange twist for garnish, optional

Instructions

  1. Chill a martini glass or coupe.
  2. To prepare rim, rub the rim of the martini glass or coupe with the lemon wedge.
  3. With the sugar on a saucer, dip either half or the entire rim of the glass in the sugar to coat.
  4. In a cocktail shaker, add ice, applejack, orange liqueur, and lemon juice.
  5. Shake to chill.
  6. Strain into prepared glass.
  7. Garnish with orange twist, if desired.

Princess Mary's Pride

A cocktail fit for royalty, famed bartender Harry Craddock crafted this cocktail in honor of Princess Mary's birthday in 1922. It packs a boozy punch but will sway any Manhattan lover.

Ingredients

  • 2 ounces applejack
  • 1 ounce Dubonnet rouge or Lillet
  • ½ ounce dry vermouth
  • Ice
  • Orange peel for garnish, optional

Instructions

  1. Chill a martini glass or coupe.
  2. In a mixing glass, add ice, applejack, Dubonnet rouge, and dry vermouth.
  3. Stir rapidly to chill.
  4. Strain into chilled glass.
  5. Garnish with orange peel, if desired.

Sparkling Applejack

A prosecco cocktail is timeless in addition to being ideal for any time of the day. Sip this sparkler at brunch or enjoy it as you peruse a dinner menu.

Ingredients

  • 1½ ounces applejack
  • ½ ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • ¼ ounce simple syrup
  • Ice
  • Prosecco to top off
  • Lemon twist for garnish, optional

Instructions

  1. Chill a martini glass or coupe.
  2. In a cocktail shaker, add ice, applejack, lemon juice, and simple syrup.
  3. Shake to chill.
  4. Strain into chilled glass.
  5. Garnish with lemon twist.

Finding Your Way to Applejack Cocktails

Exploring the world of brandy can feel like a leap that requires a ton of commitment and money, but this couldn't be further from the truth. Applejack drinks are a great way to transition between whiskey and apple brandy cocktails without worry. However, you may start, be it with a traditional applejack recipe or a riff on a bourbon cocktail, this centuries-old spirit will sweep you off your feet.

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12 Applejack Drink Recipes (From Sours to Sidecars)