Five Great Cider Cocktails for Fall

October 30, 2018

By October Staff, October 30, 2018

Around the October office, there’s a brisk chill in the air, the leaves are turning shades of scarlet and crimson, and everyone is debating what to do with their latest apple-picking haul. While some might be a little wistful for summer’s passing, we’re leaning hard into the coziest time of year. As far as we’re concerned, fall is the seasonal equivalent of a giant bear hug and we’re very, very into it. Bring on the extra blankets, the lazy sleep-in-and-make-pancakes sort of weekend mornings, and, sure, even the annual onslaught of pumpkin-spiced-everything.

Our sneaky favorite thing about the season might be that fall feels like the perfect excuse to stay in—or better yet, invite friends over instead of braving the plummeting temperatures outside. With Halloween just around the corner, we’re upping our entertaining game this year with these festive cider cocktails. Your guests probably wouldn’t complain if poured them something simpler, but that little extra effort is guaranteed to impress.

All of the following elixirs, courtesy of Virtue Cider, spotlight the crisp complexities and apple-y goodness of dry, hard ciders. More importantly, since no one wants to spend all evening mixing drinks, they’re all dead-easy to make. Any of these can be scaled up or down, depending on whether you’re hosting a crowd or just want an especially smooth sipper to accompany a low-key Netflix session. For a full-on All Hallows Eve bash, we’re especially partial to the Witches Wassail, which will make your house smell like you’ve been baking cinnamon-spiced pies all day long.

Virtue CiderSpirit of Spritz

Spirit of Spritz

3 oz. Michigan Brut

1 oz. Aperol or Campari

2 oz. sparkling water


Fill a highball glass 1/4 full with ice cubes. Layer the aperitif, cider, and sparkling water in that order over ice. Garnish with orange slice and paper straw.

Virtue CiderVirtuous Sin

Virtuous Sin

3 oz. Michigan Apple

2 oz. cinnamon whiskey (such as Fireball)

Apple slices


Fill a highball glass 1/4 full with ice cubes. Pour in the cinnamon whiskey and top with cider. Garnish with apple slices.

Virtue CiderCorpse Reviver #13

Corpse Reviver #13

1/2 oz. Michigan Brut

1 oz. Cognac

1/2 oz. sweet vermouth


Add all of the ingredients over ice into a mixing glass and stir. Strain into a coupe.

Virtue CiderPercheron Punch

Percheron Punch

1 765-ml. bottle of Percheron

8 cups non-alcoholic cider

4 12-oz. bottles ginger beer

1 1/2 cups whiskey

1/3 cup lemon juice

A few dashes orange bitters


Combine all the ingredients over ice in a punch bowl. Ladle into punch glasses.

Virtue CiderWitches Waissal

Witches Wassail

Mulling spices:

1 cinnamon stick

2 whole cloves

1/4 tsp. grated nutmeg

pinch cayenne pepper (optional)

1/4 cup brown sugar

1 whole allspice

1 juniper berry


4 cups Virtue Cider

2 cups non-alcoholic cider

A splash of brandy, whiskey, rum, or a spirit of your choice

Heat all ingredients in a saucepan, but take care not to boil. The mulling spices can be placed in a cheesecloth and removed before serving or left in, depending on your preference. After the flavors have had a chance to meld and the mixture is warmed through, remove from heat and add your choice of spirit to taste. Ladle around the spices and serve in your favorite mug. Garnish with apple slices.

ZX Ventures, a division within AB InBev, is an investor in October
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