With this Apple Cider Margarita, you get the best of both worlds. A refreshing tequila cocktail and all the best fall flavors in one drink. It comes together in minutes and it's perfect for the holiday season!
Why This Recipe Works
- This drink is your regular margarita with a fancy fall upgrade. It has all your usual ingredients like lime juice and Cointreau, but with the addition of apple cider. I like to go over the top and add fall spices like cinnamon, allspice, and nutmeg to give it apple pie flavor. You don't have to but I highly recommend it, it's so delicious!
- Even though there are more ingredients than in a regular margarita, it's still super easy to make. You just add everything to a cocktail shaker and pour over ice.
Ingredients and Substitutes
- Apple Cider
This is what makes this recipe special and so different. Make sure you're using apple cider, not apple cider vinegar. I get my apple cider at the farmer's market but you can get it in most grocer stores too, it might just be pasteurized. Apple juice tastes different, it's more tart, but you can use it as a substitution if you really can't find apple cider.
I like using silver (Blanco) tequila in my margaritas but you can use gold if you prefer. The sweetness of gold tequila could go really well with the flavors in the recipe! I only have silver so that's what I use, don't go out to buy a specific tequila only for this recipe! Silver tequila is more versatile in the long run.
As with any cocktails, don't get anything too expensive since you're not drinking it straight but I wouldn't go too cheap either. My favorite brand is el Jimador. The brand of tequila you use can greatly change the flavor of your drink, some are smoother, some spicier. I like el Jimador because it's smooth and less hard than others.
This is an orange liqueur. You can use any orange liqueur you have, Triple Sec is also a great option.
- Lime Juice
A classic margarita uses fresh lime juice which is what I normally use. Only use the bottled stuff when absolutely necessary, it really makes a difference.
- Orange bitters
Bitters are a spirit infused with different fruits, herbs, or spices. Some bitters might be non-alcoholic too, just check your labels. You don't need much of this. Use it as you would vanilla extract in baking, you only need a dash or two per drink.
- Maple Syrup
Classic margarita uses simple syrup but I like using maple syrup because it's easier, I don't have to make any syrups, and because I really like the deep maple flavor in this drink. I always use the darkest maple syrup I can find for a strong flavor.
Prep your glass - This step is optional but I like to add cinnamon sugar around the rim of the glass before making the drink. You can do this by running a lime wedge around the edge of the glass and dipping it in a mixture of turbinado sugar and cinnamon. I like turbinado because the crystals are large and don't clump up together as brown sugar does.
Add ice and lime round to your glass and set aside. Make sure you're doing this only when you already have all the ingredients for the margarita already out ready to go so your ice in the glass doesn't melt.
Shake it up - The instructions are super simple. As with any other cocktail, you just add all your ingredients to a cocktail shaker or a mason jar with a handful of ice cubes, close it, and shake for 5-10 seconds until the shaker is very cold to touch.
Ready to serve - Pour your shaken drink into the glass with ice you prepped earlier and enjoy right away.
How to Make It Non-Alcoholic
For a non-alcoholic version, I use only apple cider, maple syrup, lime juice, and orange bitters. Always read the label of your bitters as most do contain a small amount of alcohol.
To make the drink more fun, I top it with sparkling water or a soda of some kind. My favorite is cranberry-flavored sugar-free soda.
Yes! Just skip the tequila and Cointreau, and top up the drink with soda.
A classic margarita has tequila, Cointreau, and lime juice. This recipe is special because it includes apple cider!
They have very different flavors so I don't recommend it unless totally necessary.
Totally! Keep in mind though that the spices might get stronger as the cocktail sits since you're adding ground spices. You will have to stir it up every so often so that the spices don't settle. You can use a whole stick or two of cinnamon for a pitcher instead.
Similar Drinks You Might Enjoy
- Apple Cider Bourbon Cocktail
- Spiced Rum Apple Cider Cocktail
- Cranberry Orange Margarita
- Pomegranate Margarita
A refreshing tequila cocktail with all the fall flavors. There are warming spices, tangy lime juice, and silver tequila. It's the perfect drink for the holiday season.
Cinnamon sugar rim
- 1 tablespoon turbinado sugar
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- A lime wedge
- 1.5 oz silver tequila
- 0.5 oz Cointreau
- 0.5 oz freshly squeezed lime juice
- 2 oz apple cider
- Dash cinnamon (a light sprinkle)
- 1-2 dashes orange bitters
- Ice cubes
- Optional garnish: apple and lime slices
Cinnamon sugar rim
- Combine the turbinado sugar and cinnamon on a small plate. Run a lime wedge around the rim of your glass and dip it in the sugar. Set aside.
- Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker, add a handful of ice, and shake for 10-15 seconds until it’s very cold to touch.
- Pour into a short glass over ice, garnish with an apple and lime slice, and enjoy!
Spices - You use apple pie spice or just plain cinnamon, whichever you prefer.
Storing - Drinks like this don’t store well. I recommend making it right before serving.
Cocktail shaker: If you don’t have a cocktail shaker, you can use a large mason jar with a tight-fitting lid.
Keywords: apple cider, margarita