What’s better than a slice of freshly baked apple pie? This recipe, if you’re in the mood for a cocktail! A delicious balance of sweet, sour and spiked, this apple pie cocktail is my go-to for every autumn and winter occasion from Thanksgiving to Super Bowl Sunday. But don’t just think parties, picture yourself snuggling in front of the fire with someone special and a couple of apple pie cocktails on an icy winter night. That’s what makes this cocktail a keeper.
How to make the best apple pie drink
As a food writer and cookbook author, my experience in creating and testing recipes is extensive. And for me, this apple pie cocktail recipe earns high marks both for ease and flavor. This drink is served chilled and can be considered an apple pie martini recipe. So yes, you get to serve this sexy vodka martini in a martini glass. (Historically a martini was a gin-based drink. But with the American love of vodka, the vodka martini became an acceptable version of the cocktail. And today, vodka variations give us a wide variety of unique and flavorful martini recipes like this one.)
Making this drink is simple – it takes less than five minutes – but you’re you might be surprised by the sheer amount of alcohol you’re about to use. You’re going to need:
- Triple Sec
Plus apple cider and freshly squeezed lemon juice
The vodka is shaken with the brandy and triple sec along with the modest measure of apple cider (not apple juice) and fresh lemon juice. You might call it the New England version of a Painkiller. This particular martini recipe is shaken, not stirred. While stirring is the best choice for showcasing delicate flavors, this drink is bold. So shake it!
Since this cocktail is shaken, you will need a cocktail shaker. If you enjoy making cocktails at home, you probably already have one. But just in case you’re in the market, here’s one of my favorite cocktail shakers.
Of course, since this is a martini recipe, you’re going to want martini glasses for serving. The v-shaped design of a martini glass is designed to make you sip a drink, not drink it too quickly. And with the addictive flavor, not to mention the high alcohol content, of this cocktail, you’re going to appreciate the function of the v-shaped glass! These are the glasses I use.
You will also need to make sure you have fresh ice because a cocktail shaker filled with old ice can give your cocktail a stale freezer flavor. Trust me, it’s awful. To make any shaken cocktail successfully, always make sure you have some nice, fresh ice on hand. (If you have a freezer with an automatic ice maker, you should clean out the old ice every once in a while. I clean mine out about once each month and use the old ice to water the trees in my backyard.)
How to garnish it like a pro
This apple pie vodka cocktail recipe does call for one final flourish, the “wow factor” that will take your mixology skills to the next level.
Core and thinly slice a green apple right before serving. (Do not do this in advance as apples tend to brown quickly.) Dust the apple slices with a faint sprinkling of ground cinnamon and granulated sugar. Put a small slit in the center of each apple slice so they will slide easily onto the side of the lip of the martini glass and voila! You have mastered making a well-balanced, beautifully garnished, fall and winter cocktail.
And if you want to take the garnish even further, you can try making a graham cracker rim for the martini glass. Just crush graham cracker to fine dust, (the easiest way is to use a food processor). Then transfer the graham cracker crumbs to a saucer wider than the circumference of your glass. Run a wedge of fresh lemon around the martini glass rim to moisten the edge then dip it in the graham cracker dust to coat. Just be sure to pour the martini into the glass very carefully so as not to ruin your perfect rim.
Why you should serve this apple pie cocktail on date night
“Sure,” you’re thinking, “I know why this apple martini recipe is one for date night. Ply your date with this much liquor and all inhibitions go out the window.”
And while that might be true, this apple cider martini offers some aphrodisiac benefits beyond making you feel fearless in the face of seduction. (Also please keep in mind that while a little liquor can take date night into the realm of seduction at an accelerated pace, too much alcohol can also destroy your chance of getting lucky. So be sure to weigh your chances before you mix another round.)
Anyway, as a leading authority on aphrodisiac foods I am incredibly excited to talk about all of the aphrodisiacs layered into this apple pie martini cocktail, starting with the original fruit of temptation. Apple is one of the most famous aphrodisiacs of them all. This beautiful and nutritious fruit was held in regard for its aphrodisiac properties by cultures around the world. In this apple cocktail recipe, the fruit of love is served in the form of cider.
Of course, it’s not just apple in apple cider. That blend of spices adding to this apple vodka martini recipe’s complex flavors, well it’s also aphrodisiac. A typical cider is flavored with some blend of baking spices such as cinnamon, clove, allspice and ginger – all of which have a history and reputation as an aphrodisiac.
Lastly, there’s that key ingredient. As I mentioned, the lemon is, for me, what makes this martini sing. And it’s not only because I love what it does to the flavor profile of this apple spice martini. Lemon, along with all citrus fruits, is among the best foods for women’s sexual health.
More cozy winter cocktail recipes
Sorrel Hot Toddy
Coffee with a Kick
Manhattan Cocktail for the Holidays
Spiked Apple Cider
Cranberry and Chocolate Winter Daiquiri
Hot Chocolate with Peppermint Schnapps
New England Apple Cider Cocktail
Apple Pie Martini
- Cocktail shaker
- Martini glasses
- 1.5 oz vodka
- .75 oz brandy (1.5 tbsp)
- 1.5 oz apple cider
- .75 oz triple sec (1.5 tbsp)
- .75 oz fresh lemon juice (1.5 tbsp)
- Combine ingredients in a cocktail shaker filled with ice.*
- Shake vigorously and strain into a martini glass.
- Garnish with apple slices dusted with cinnamon sugar.
A note on the provided nutrition informationThe nutrition information provided has been estimated by an online nutrition calculator and is not a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
We first published this cocktail recipe in 2018 and most recently updated it in November 2022.
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