A little caramel, a little tart, and a lot of apple. This easy Caramel Apple Vodka Cocktail with apple cider is the perfect fall cocktail.
- Ingredients for Caramel Apple Cocktails
- How to Make a Caramel Apple Vodka Cocktail
- Variations on this Caramel Apple Cocktail
- Looking for Apple Vodka Cocktail Recipes?
- FAQs and Substitutions
- What to Serve with Caramel Apple Cocktails
- More Delicious Recipes You'll Love
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- Caramel Apple Cocktail with Apple Cider
Fall is the time of year for cocktails full of apple cider and caramel flavors. This cocktail recipe pairs fresh apple cider with caramel vodka and apple liqueur for a delicious alcoholic drink that features all the flavors of fall.
The first time the temperatures start to turn cold, I'm heading to a local orchard for apple cider, apple picking, and celebrating everything I love about the fall season. I'm also immediately making this Caramel Apple Cocktail recipe.
To keep this caramel apple cider cocktail from being overly sweet, we're leaving out the butterscotch schnapps and caramel syrup. Instead we're using a bit of lemon juice and just a small amount of maple syrup to balance out this delicious cocktail while keeping all the caramel apple flavors we love.
When it comes to the apple liqueur, you can use your favorite in this drink. I've made it with various apple liqueurs - including apple brandy - and all variations have been delicious. So use whatever you have on hand or can easily find at your local liquor store or grocery store.
Ingredients for Caramel Apple Cocktails
- Apple cider - I'm lucky enough to easily find apple cider year-round, but if you can't use an unfiltered apple juice like Simply Apple for this recipe.
- Caramel vodka - I used Smirnoff Kissed Caramel Vodka for this recipe. Stoli Vodka and Pinnacle Vodka also make caramel versions, if you prefer a different brand.
- Apple liqueur or apple brandy - You're looking for a sweet, apple flavored liquor here that doesn't have any heavy spices in it. Apple brandy works well, but so do lots of other apple liqueurs, so go with what you can easily find or have on hand.
- Pure maple syrup - Skip the pancake syrup and use 100% pure maple syrup for this drink.
- Fresh lemon juice - Squeeze a fresh lemon for this drink! Half of a lemon will be plenty for each cocktail.
- Cinnamon and sugar - Use the cinnamon and sugar to rim your glass. If you don't like a flavored rim on your glass, skip it and garnish with an apple slice.
How to Make a Caramel Apple Vodka Cocktail
Prepare your glass
Combine cinnamon and sugar in a shallow dish.
Run a piece of lemon around the rim of your glass.
Gently dip the rim of the glass into the cinnamon sugar mixture.
Fill the glass with ice and set it aside.
Make your cocktail
Combine caramel vodka, apple liqueur, fresh lemon juice, maple syrup, and apple cider in a cocktail shaker filled with ice cubes.
Shake well for at least 10 seconds and strain into your prepared glass. Garnish with apple slices.
Variations on this Caramel Apple Cocktail
- Make it a Caramel Apple Martini! Just strain your cocktail into a martini glass or coupe glass and garnish with an apple slice.
- Change up the main liquor in this recipe and make it a Caramel Apple Bourbon Cocktail. Replace the vodka with your favorite bourbon and the maple syrup with caramel sauce when making this recipe.
FAQs and Substitutions
I use Smirnoff Caramel Kiss vodka in this drink. Smirnoff is easy for me to find and the caramel flavor in the vodka is on point with a caramel candy square. Feel free to use your favorite caramel flavored vodka in this cocktail.
Swap apple juice for the apple cider if it's not cider season or you don't have any on hand. Simply brand apple juice is my go-to when I can't find cider but still want a caramel apple cocktail.
You can use apple brandy in place of the apple liqueur if that's what you have on hand or can easily find.
If you'd like to garnish your drink beyond the cinnamon sugar rim, use a slice or two of fresh apple. Slice your apple through its equator to get a fun star design in the middle of the slice from the core. A cinnamon stick or twist of lemon peel would also be fun.
If you don't have 100% pure maple syrup on hand, use brown sugar syrup. Do not use pancake syrup.