Shake up a perfectly chilled spiced apple cider mocktail at your next fall party! It can easily be made into a cocktail too.
Why you’ll love it: This no-alcohol martini is festive and exciting.
How long it takes: Prep the cinnamon ginger simple syrup ahead; the cocktail can be made in less than 5 minutes.
Equipment you’ll need: cocktail shaker, ice, martini or stemmed glass
Do you enjoy a good cocktail but don’t want the alcohol? Mocktails are the answer to this dilemma. With the same elements of a cocktail – complex flavors, fancy glassware and garnishes, and mixology recipes – you won’t miss the spirits.
I love this fun apple cider mocktail. It’s refreshing, festive, and easy to make, with notes of cinnamon and ginger to add complexity. And if you’re looking for a cocktail, go ahead and add vodka, rum, or bourbon.
Not into pumpkin? Crisp crostini are always a hit at parties, too. Try roasted grape crostini with ricotta and honey, wild mushroom crostini with goat cheese, or butternut squash crostini with ricotta. Bowls of nuts like spiced pecans or cinnamon roasted almonds will disappear quickly. Homemade gingersnap cookies with white chocolate and cranberries are a good match, too.
About this Apple Cider cocktail
This apple cider mocktail (or fake-tini) is super easy to make. You’ll want to prep the spice-infused simple syrup ahead of time so it’s chilled and ready to go. The mocktail takes about five seconds to make, okay, maybe ten.
I’ll get you started here with a few tips and extra information.
You’ll find the printable recipe card with complete instructions and nutrition information at the end of the post.
What You’ll Need
- Apple Cider: If you live in the U.S., apple cider is unfiltered apple juice. It’s unfermented and contains no alcohol. Cider may or may not be pasteurized and is found in the refrigerated section of your grocery store. Do not confuse it with apple cider vinegar!!
- Cinnamon-Ginger Simple Syrup: You’ll be making your own simple syrup (it’s super simple to make!). This spice-infused syrup adds complexity to the mocktail. It’s made of water, sugar, cinnamon sticks, and ginger root.
- Cinnamon Sugar: Make your own by mixing 1/4 cup sugar with a tablespoon of cinnamon. Yup, it’s that easy! Use cinnamon sugar to rim the glass.
- Apple Slice: For a garnish. A cinnamon stick makes a nice garnish, too.
- Cocktail Shaker, Ice, Stemmed Glass
How To Make It
Begin by making cinnamon ginger simple syrup. Simple syrups add so much flavor and keep several days in the fridge. There are so many ways to infuse flavor into this mixer.
Combine water and sugar in a saucepan, along with a couple of cinnamon sticks and sliced fresh ginger root.
Simmer until the sugar is completely dissolved. Let the syrup cool with the cinnamon and ginger in it. It will infuse the syrup with so much flavor.
After the syrup has cooled, strain out the cinnamon sticks and ginger. You’ll have plenty of cinnamon ginger simple syrup for several drinks.
Since this mocktail is chilled briefly in a cocktail shaker with ice but not served over ice, make sure your ingredients are well-chilled. Serve the drink in a stemmed glass so it isn’t warmed by body heat.
Prepare your glasses by wetting the edge with cider and dipping them into cinnamon sugar. Thinly slice an apple for a garnish.
When you’re ready to serve the mocktails, add a couple of tablespoons (or to taste) of the simple syrup, apple cider and ice to a cocktail shaker. Shake vigorously until the drink is chilled, and pour it into your prepared glass.
So delicious and pretty too!
Psst: If you want, add a shot of vodka, whiskey, or spiced rum. Or try this fantastic Apple Cider Mule, with ginger beer, apple cider, and vodka. An Orange Gin & Tonic with Cinnamon is outstanding, too! Or, if you’re a bourbon fan, try a Maple Old Fashioned.
This is a tricky question. If you live in the U.S., cider refers to a non-alcoholic, unfiltered, unsweetened apple juice beverage. It’s simply juice squeezed out of ripe apples and it isn’t fermented. However, if you live in other parts of the world, cider refers to a fermented product that contains alcohol, up to 12%.. In the U.S., this alcoholic beverage is usually called “hard cider.”
Note: The recipe for this apple cider mocktail uses non-fermented cider, with no alcohol.
There are a few things to look for. Does it have interesting ingredients with complex flavors? Were mixology techniques used in the preparation? Is it presented beautifully? Notice cocktail glasses, garnishes and embellishments.
A mocktail should have the same elements as a good cocktail, without the alcohol.
Since apple cider is full-flavored and quite sweet, we like bourbon, rum, or spiced rum. Add cinnamon-flavored whiskey such as Fireball or Tennessee Fire to either cold or warm apple cider for an easy fall cocktail. If you really want the apple cider to be the star, add vodka.
Make It Your Own
Here’s just a few ideas for you:
- Change the spices in the simple syrup. Use whole spices, not ground, and mix and match: cinnamon sticks, sliced ginger root, star anise, cloves, peppercorns, a strip of orange zest, etc.
- Use alcoholic sparkling cider instead of plain apple cider and skip the cocktail shaker. Note: some sparkling ciders contain alcohol so check the labels.
- Warm it up! Instead of serving this mocktail chilled, gently heat the cider and simple syrup. Serve it in mugs.
- Try a salted caramel rimmer: Mix 1 tablespoon coarse sugar (such as Demerara) with 1 teaspoon coarse salt. Dip the rim of the glass in caramel sauce, and then into the sugar/salt mixture.
To get a head start on this recipe, prepare the simple syrup up to a week ahead. Pour it into a jar with a lid and store it in the fridge. Cinnamon sugar for the rims can be made anytime.
Make sure you have plenty of fresh ice on hand and your glasses are sparkling clean.
More Delicious Beverages
- Pomegranate Mojito
- French 75 with a lemon twist garnish
- Classic Gin and Tonic Recipe
- Ginger Spiced Hot Chocolate — Easy microwave recipe!
- Cranberry Margarita Recipe
- Cherry Martini with Elderflower and Lime
- White Russian or a Hot White Russian
Cinnamon-Ginger Simple Syrup
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup water
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 1-2 inches ginger root, peeled and thinly sliced
For One Mocktail
- 2 tablespoons cinnamon-ginger simple syrup, chilled
- 1 cup apple cider, chilled
- ice for mixing
- cinnamon sugar, for rimming the glass
- apple slice or cinnamon stick to garnish (optional)
For the Simple Syrup:
- Mix sugar, water, cinnamon sticks, and sliced ginger root in a small saucepan over medium heat. Heat until sugar is dissolved.
- Let cool completely. When cool, strain to remove ginger and cinnamon sticks.
For the Mocktail:
- Pour cinnamon sugar into a shallow bowl or plate. Prepare martini glass by wetting the rim with apple cider and then dipping in cinnamon sugar.
- Add ice to martini shaker. Pour in cider and simple syrup. Shake for 10 to 15 seconds.
- Pour into prepared glass. Garnish with apple slice or cinnamon stick.
- Nutrition information is based on ingredients for one beverage (cider plus 2 tablespoons simple syrup) and does not include garnishes.
- This is a fairly sweet drink. Adjust the amount of simple syrup to your liking.
- To make a cocktail, add 1 oz. vodka, bourbon, rum, or spiced rum to shaker.
- If preferred, instead of using a shaker, serve mocktail with ice in a short tumbler such as a rocks, low-ball, or old-fashioned glass. Garnish as desired.
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition data is gathered primarily from the USDA Food Composition Database, whenever available, or otherwise other online calculators.