This Apple Ginger Smash is the best cocktail to enjoy on a dark winter night! Slightly spicy with warming applejack, it makes your average evening a little more special.
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Moving right along with our New Year’s Resolutions, which include knocking back a few fancy cocktails (for our health!), here’s a delicious addition to your winter happy hour: an Apple Ginger Smash.
While my favorite fall cocktails lean towards cinnamon, which pairs beautifully with apple, winter makes me crave something a little different. Something with a little deeper flavor. Something with ginger and applejack!
If you haven’t tried applejack before, don’t be shy. It tastes similar to whiskey, but it does have a subtle apple flavor as well. This Apple Ginger Smash is a great opportunity to round out your liquor collection with something new. In a pinch, go ahead and substitute whiskey, but try the applejack if you can!
You will need to a do a little bit of advance prep to make this recipe. In order to get a good, strong ginger flavor, you make a simple syrup with ginger, and the longer you steep the ginger, the stronger the flavor will be. Ever had a Moscow mule with a weak ginger beer? Just not as good, is it? This ginger syrup has just the right amount of spice to make a balanced cocktail. You’ll also steep a cinnamon stick in the syrup for a little while, but not as long as the ginger. Why? Well, as mentioned, I wasn’t going for a cinnamon flavor in this cocktail, but the cinnamon does add some extra pep to the final product. Just remember, a little goes a long way, so don’t leave the cinnamon stick in the syrup longer than the recipe calls for.
Of course, once you have a jar of ginger syrup in the fridge, you’re pretty much set for an instant cocktail any time the mood strikes you. And with shorter days and colder weather, a warming Apple Ginger Smash sounds like a good idea most of the time. You can also mix up a whole batch of cocktails in advance and have them ready for company. You’d basically be the best host ever – friend drops by, friend gets Apple Ginger Smash, friend loves you forever and doesn’t want to leave.
In fact, can I come over? No? Well, in that case, cheers from afar, and enjoy the drink!
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup water
- ¼ cup peeled chopped ginger
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 5½ ounces applejack
- 3 ounces non-alcoholic apple cider (can substitute apple juice)
- 4½ ounces ginger syrup
- 2 ounces lemon juice
- Apple slices, for garnish (optional)
- Place sugar and water together in a small saucepan over medium high heat and bring to a boil.
- Add ginger and reduce heat so syrup comes to a simmer. Simmer for about 15 minutes.
- Add cinnamon stick; simmer another 5 minutes.
- Remove from heat and steep everything for 10 minutes. Remove cinnamon stick.
- Steep another 20 minutes at room temperature, then refrigerate for 30-45 minutes with the ginger still in the syrup.
- Remove ginger and keep syrup refrigerated until ready to use.
- Combine all cocktail ingredients except apple slices in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into two cocktail glasses.
- Garnish with apple slices and serve.