Sweet fall apples and pears are ideal for eating out of hand, baking in pies, and adding to salads, but they can be a wonderful seasonal addition to cocktails, too. Apple cider and brandy, pear jam and liqueur, and more—we've rounded up our favorite cocktail recipes using apples and pears in all their forms.
Rich apple cider is a great cocktail ingredient. The Canadian is a spiced rum drink given a fall twist with apple cider, maple syrup, and cinnamon. Our Bourbon Cider cocktail is made with the two namesake drinks and spiced with cloves, ginger, and cinnamon. For a concentrated cider flavor, try boiling the cider down into a thick syrup. We like to mix cider syrup with bourbon and lemon to make the Ciderhouse Whiskey or with prosecco to make a autumnal bellini variation.
Calvados is a French apple brandy. We use it with apple cider to make a hot toddy and with blood orange juice, amaro, and rye in our Infamous Wisdom. The Pomme Rosé is a fruity take on the French 75 made with sparkling rosé and calvados.
There are a variety of ways to incorporate pear into cocktails. In the Pear Haymaker, chopped pear is muddled, mixed with vodka and lemon juice, and topped with ginger ale. The crisp Spiced Pear Collins is a mix of peach purée, gin, lemon juice, and rosemary-clove simple syrup topped with a dry sparkling wine or seltzer. The Nuestra Casa is an allspice gin and tonic that uses crème de poire, a pear liqueur.
Find all of these drinks and more in our collection of pear and apple cocktail recipes.
This drink, from chef Anna Bogle of Summit City Lounge in Whitesburg, Kentucky, melds whiskey aged in Virginia port barrels with the Kentucky’s Foggy Ridge apple cider, then adds sorghum and a touch of lemon juice. Get the recipe for Fallen Apple
“Always be prepared.” It’s not only the motto of the Boy Scouts of America, it’s also the mantra of any great host. Eric Castro of San Diego’s Polite Provisions suggests to achieve that goal via pre-made libations. His riff on the classic New Orleans cocktail, the Vieux Carré, can be kept chilled, stored in cleaned 750-ml. liquor bottles, and on hand for all impromptu soirées. Get the recipe for Full Windsor
This elegant drink, served at New York restaurant Daniel to celebrate the Academy Awards, is made even more luxurious with a dusting of gold leaf. Get the recipe for The Red Carpet
In this cocktail, cognac, apple brandy, and an apple-mint vermouth are combined for a decidedly autumnal cocktail. Becherovka, a spicy, bittersweet Czech liqueur, lends a complex herbal flavor; dashes of apple bitters amp up the fruit aromatics.
Two simple ingredients, whiskey and cider syrup, combine to make a powerfully good drink. A twist of lemon lends a bitter brightness without diluting the richness of the cocktail.
Bright citrus juice and citrus bitters, apple brandy, cherry-flavored liqueur, and bittersweet amaro add layers of complexity to this whiskey drink. Get the recipe for Infamous Wisdom
The classic gin and tonic gets a seasonal twist from a splash of pear and allspice liqueurs.
Conquistador Gin and Tonic
Named for the New Jersey birthplace of Laird’s Apple Brandy, this toddy gets bittersweet complexity from cardoon-flavored amaro. Blow out the burning bourbon that floats atop the drink, then stir it in. Get the recipe for Colts Neck Toddy »
Sparkling rose adds berry notes to this take on a French 75. Replacing the gin traditionally used, Calvados imbues a richer, woodsy, and slightly sweeter flavor. Get the recipe for Pomme Rosé
Polish Apple Pie Cocktail (Szarlotka)
Wassail gets its name from the Old Norse “ves heill” and Old English “was hál,” meaning “be fortunate,” which is how we feel when we drink it. Get the recipe for Wassail
Cool, mild cucumber and sweet elderflower liqueur echo gin’s floral notes in this cocktail, served at Atmosphere, the bar on the top floor of the tallest building in Beijing. With notes of apple, lime, and a bit of heat from fresh ginger, it has an effect talmost like a spa in a glass. Get the recipe for The New Airline