You deserve a cocktail and this is an absolute must for welcoming the Fall season! This Apple Cider Rye Cocktail is amazingly spiced, refreshing and of course, boozy. It perfectly pairs rye whiskey with an apple cider concentrate that will leave your home smelling amazing while it simmers down!
Anytime I mix up this cocktail, I automatically start humming Tex Ritter’s version of “Rye Whiskey”. The lyrics, “It’s a whiskey, rye whiskey, rye whiskey I cry, if I don’t get rye whiskey, well, I think I will die”, pretty much sums up how much I love this Dangerously Delicious Apple Cider Rye Cocktail recipe!
My Dad has been dubbed the family mixologist. This was the first cocktail recipe he concocted for us a few years back and his adventures as family mixologist began, providing several amazing boozy recipes to enjoy!
This Apple Cider Rye Cocktail is great served at fall gatherings, Thanksgiving, and football tailgate parties! I usually mix up individual cocktails, but you can also make a pitcher of this favorite cocktail to easily share.
Making the Apple Cider Concentrate
This recipe involves first making an apple cider concentrate, where you will need to reduce the liquid volume of traditional apple cider by half. A gallon of apple cider will yield 1/2 gallon of concentrate.
To make the apple cider concentrate, add your apple cider to a large pot on the stovetop. On medium heat, bring the cider to a gentle boil, then reduce to low heat and simmer for 1-2 hours, stirring occasionally. Monitor the liquid volume to ensure it reduces by half. Do not simmer for too long or you will end up with thicker apple cider syrup if too much liquid evaporates!
Once the apple cider has simmered down to half the liquid volume, allow the cider to cool to room temperature.
Then, run the cider concentrate through a mesh strainer to remove any impurities and pour back into the apple cider jug using a funnel to easily store in the refrigerator. My mesh strainer is small enough that it fits inside the funnel, so I simply rest my mesh strainer in the funnel, place the funnel within the top of the apple cider jug and pour!
Allow the apple cider concentrate to chill in the refrigerator prior to use. It will store in the refrigerator for about 1 month.
What Whiskey to Use?
“It’s a whiskey, rye whiskey, rye whiskey I cry!” For this cocktail recipe, please use whiskey rye!
When making this Apple Cider Rye Cocktail, I prefer to use either Bullet Rye Frontier Whiskey or Ezra Brooks Straight Rye Whiskey. Both are pretty affordable rye whiskeys with great taste! My local liquor store usually carries them.
Use your rye whiskey of preference! My husband has substituted bourbon on occasion and it still tastes pretty dangerously delicious.
How to Make the Apple Cider Rye Cocktail
Preparing the Drink Glass
Fill a low baller drink glass with ice.
Cut a slice of fresh orange rind and run it around the rim of the low baller glass. Toss the orange rind into the glass for garnish. This step really makes a difference for the taste of the apple cider rye cocktail, so don’t skip it!
Add a few cubes of ice to a cocktail shaker.
Then, add in 1 ounce of rye whiskey. My favorite shot glasses are beakers that measure in milliliters. I love them because of the pour spout! 30 milliliters=1 ounce. You can pour a little heavy if you like a stronger drink.
Add 3 ounces of apple cider concentrate to the cocktail shaker and shake well.
Pour through the strainer into the prepared glass.
Garnish with a cinnamon stick and the orange rind.
And, enjoy! Though, beware that this Apple Cider Rye Cocktail truly is dangerously delicious, so please always remember to drink responsibly!
Other Options for the Concentrate
Cooking down the apple cider into a concentrate is delicious, but for those who are health conscious, it is higher in sugar per serving. Also, what if you don’t have enough time to simmer down and chill the concentrate? Here are some other options:
Apple Cider- You can use just straight up apple cider, which is easy. The cocktail will not have as concentrated of an apple cider flavor, but since it is not concentrated, it will be lower in sugar per serving and will provide more yield to make drinks.
Apple Cider Drink Packets- If you are just making this for yourself and don’t want to buy a half gallon or gallon of apple cider, you can use Apple Cider Instant Drink Mix. This is also a lower calorie option. Alpine Spiced Apple Cider Original Flavor Drink Mix is only 80 calories per packet.
Making a Pitcher
Add 4 cups of chilled apple cider concentrate to a pitcher.
Add 1 1/3 cups of rye whiskey. You can add a little more for stronger drinks.
Remember to prepare glasses to serve by running an orange rind around the rim and filling with ice. You can go ahead and add the orange rind slice and cinnamon stick to the glass as well.
At times I will toss a few slices of fresh orange and cinnamon sticks directly into the pitcher. This really makes the pitcher look beautiful.
The pitcher will yield about 10 servings of apple cider rye cocktails.
- 3 ounces apple cider concentrate
- 1 ounce rye whiskey
- 1 slice of orange rind
- 1 cinnamon stick
Making the Apple Cider Concentrate:
In a large stove top pan, bring 1 gallon of apple cider to a boil, then reduce to low heat and simmer for about 1-2 hours. This will simmer down apple cider to 1/2 the liquid volume making a delicious concentrate. 1 gallon of apple cider will yield 1/2 gallon of concentrate.
Allow the concentrate to cool to room temperature, then strain through a metal strainer and funnel back into the apple cider jug. Allow the jug of apple cider concentrate to chill in the refrigerator.
Preparing the Glass:
Fill a low baller glass full of ice. Slice off a wedge of orange rind. Run the orange rind around the glass rim and drop the rind into the glass.
Mixing the Drink:
Add a little ice to a cocktail shaker. Then add in the rye whiskey and apple cider concentrate. Shake well and pour into the glass through the strainer.
Garnish with a cinnamon stick and the slice orange rind.
The apple cider concentrate will store in the refrigerator for approximately 1 month.