A twist on the classic Italian Aperol spritz cocktail. This drink is a perfect lower alcohol drink for fall, mixed with hard apple cider, homemade ginger syrup and a splash of sparkling wine.
This fresh, low-alcohol apple cider cocktail is a perfect little sipper to have in your hand on crisp day, when the leaves are starting to turn and your thoughts are focused on making life warm and cozy.
In a twist on a classic Italian spritz, the drink combines hard apple cider with a homemade citrus ginger syrup, Campari and a splash of sparkling wine.
You have to admit that anything resembling a blush-colored spritz automatically looks festive.
Add a garnish of ruby pomegranate seeds, and you have a drink that captures the essence of the season, something you can sip on and serve all the way through the winter holidays.
Hard apple cider is having a revival — have you tried it lately?
Once upon a time, the style of most hard (alcoholic) ciders you’d find were on the sweet side — more like boozy soft drinks than the nuanced refreshers on the market now.
But now, craft ciders made by small, regional producers have a much more grown-up flair.
Hard apple cider is lightly carbonated, and tastes like a cross between Belgian-style ale and sparkling wine.
It’s an ideal choice if you’re looking for something lighter to drink, because it’s lower in alcohol than wine and more delicate-tasting than beer.
Next time you visit your local liquor store, wander by the craft beer section, which is usually where you’ll find hard cider, either packaged in bottles or cans.
More festive cocktails to add to your party list:
Hard Apple Cider Ginger Spritz Cocktail
Ginger Syrup (yield about 2 cups)
- 1/4 cup (24 g) unpeeled ginger root, roughly chopped
- 1/4 cup (60 ml) fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 cup (60 ml) fresh orange juice
- 1/2 cup (125 ml) water
- 1/2 cup (125 g) cane sugar
For the cocktail:
- 1 ounce (25 ml) Campari or Aperol
- 1 ounce (25 ml) Ginger Syrup
- 4-6 ounces (230 ml) chilled hard apple cider
- Fresh pomegranate seeds
- Cold sparkling wine or Prosecco
Make the Ginger Syrup:
- Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium-low heat. Simmer 10 minutes.
- Remove from the heat and cool completely.
- Strain the syrup into a glass container and store in the refrigerator up to 2 weeks. Makes about 2 cups syrup, enough for 16 drinks or to serve by the pitcher.
To mix one drink:
- Add some ice cubes to a glass.
- Add the Campari and ginger syrup. Pour in enough hard cider to fill the glass by 2/3. Stir with a spoon to combine.
- Add about a tablespoon of pomegranate seeds to the glass, then top off with the sparkling wine.
- To make a party batch of drinks, multiply the syrup, cider and Campari by the number of desired servings and combine in a pitcher. Pour the mix over ice when ready to serve, then top off with the sparkling wine.
- The ginger syrup keeps in the refrigerator for a couple weeks — try adding it to plain sparkling water for a delicious flavored soda.