I have a smokin’ new margarita recipe that I think may be just the thing for your weekend ahead. It’s made with just 3 easy ingredients. It’s the perfect balance of sweet, tart and smoky. (And it can even have a little extra-spicy kick, if you’re so inclined.) It’s perfect for autumn, for those of you looking to “mix seasonally”.
And — let’s just cut right to it — it’s freaking amazing.
It’s my Smoky Apple Cider Margaritas!
It’s no secret that I’ve been obsessed with mezcal the past few years, after having been in “camp tequila” for so many years prior with my margaritas. For those of you unfamiliar with mezcal, I like to think of it as the “scotch” of tequila. It comes from the same agave plant, but it’s much smokier and complex-tasting. As one of my Instagram followers said, it’s the “smoky, sexier cousin of tequila.” Ha, agreed. ;)
This classic mezcal margarita is now my go-to recipe. But I’ve been playing around with apple cider cocktails with friends this past month — first making an apple cider sangria, then an apple cider bourbon smash, which were both delightful. But then it occurred to me — why oh why have I never tried mixing apple cider into a margarita?!? It sounded like a delicious mixture, especially when made with some mezcal to give it that yummy campfire smokiness.
So this week, I whipped up a quick batch. And — oh my goodness — I’m convinced you need to as well. These apple cider margaritas are absolutely delicious. And the flavor tastes so rich and complex that you’d never know there were just three easy ingredients in there.
Just mix together some:
mezcal (or if you don’t have any, some good anejo or reposado tequila will also work)
apple cider (either homemade, or feel free to use a good store-bought brand as a shortcut)
fresh lime juice (keyword: fresh, always fresh)
I like my margs nice and tart. But if you’d like to sweeten it up a bit, feel free to stir in some maple syrup or agave nectar. And then if you’d like to make it a little spicier, try muddling a little jalapeño slice in there. Delicious.
I also had fun rimming my glasses and — instead of just a traditional salt rim — I mixed together some coarse salt, sugar (any kind), and a little bit of ground ginger. SO GOOD.
All in all, a delightful autumn drink. And it literally took just a few minutes to make a batch.
So if you’re looking for a new cocktail for fall, oh friends — ENJOY. :)
optional sweetener: maple syrup or agave nectar, to taste*
optional garnishes: diced apples and a cinnamon stick
Sweet Ginger Salt Rim Garnish:
1 tablespoon coarse Kosher salt
1 tablespoon granulated or brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground ginger
To Make The Smoky Apple Cider Margarita:
Begin by salting the rims of your glasses, if you would like. (See instructions below.)
Add mezcal, apple cider, and lime juice to a cocktail shaker, and shake or stir until combined. Taste, and if you would like the mixture to be sweeter, stir in a half teaspoon of maple syrup or agave nectar at a time, until the mix reaches your desired level of sweetness.
Fill glass with ice. Pour in the margarita mixture over the rocks. Serve immediately, garnished with diced apples and a cinnamon stick, if desired.
To Make The Sweet Ginger Salt Rim Garnish:
Whisk together the salt, sugar and ground ginger in a shallow bowl until combined. Run a slice of lime (the juicy part!) around the top edge of your glass, then dip it in the ginger mixture.
Ali, you got me with this one. Last year I was making margaritas with boiled cider (it’s thick like molasses), and when we ran out of tequila I used Tunji, a liqueur made from prickly pears on the island of St. Helena (in the middle of the Atlantic ocean). Those margaritas were gooooooooddd! I’ve never had mezcal, but I am intrigued to try it. Not sure when I’ll get there, but I’ve got the recipe saved in my file. The edging for my glasses was salt, sugar and cinnamon.
This. Is. Genius! It’s way too warm in CA for hot apple cider, this is the perfect go between drink until it cools down!
Thanks, Rachel — we hope you can enjoy it soon! :)
LOVE everything about this- especially that fancy ginger salt rim! Pinned!
Thank you! We hope you can give it a try sometime soon! :)
These look fabulous! And I love how you cut the apples. Thanks for sharing =)
Thanks, Sara — we hope you enjoy!
Definitely making this next weekend. Also, if you don’t want to use a lime to salt the rim of your glass, just throw your glass in the freezer first to get the salt to stick. It’s basically magic.
Awesome! We hope you love it! And thanks for the freezer tip — that’s great! :)
The husband loooooves apple cider and anything smiley flavored. This is gonna be a real winner for him!
This looks so so good! Fall drinks are the hardest for me to come up with, but wow, I know I would love these!
Thanks, Maria — we hope you enjoy!
This looks like the PERFECT Autumn drink! We are going to make these at our Halloween dinner party! Thanks so much for sharing!
Thanks! We hope you and your guests enjoy them! :)
Have you done a review or list of some of your favorite Mezcals? I am making these for a cocktail party and am finding that my options in my town are VERY limited. I’m hoping the one I bought is good!?!
<3 <3 <3
This is DEFINITELY going to be the cocktail offered at my next potluck!!
Yay! We hope you and your friends enjoy! :)
Do you have a recipe for the apple cider bourbon smash that you mentioned?
Wow! this apple cider mescal margarita looks delicious!
Thanks, Antony — we hope you can give it a try soon! :)
These look so delicious.
Banquetes en Guatemala
Thank you, Sarah!
in my country, its hard to find tequila, can i use another?
We’ve only tried this with Mezcal or tequila, so it’s hard to say, but it might be good with rum or brandy!
we loved this! i added a teaspoon of cider syrup for two and that added a tiny bit of sweetness.