My mezcal cider cocktail is a fall batch cocktail made with smokey mezcal, apple cider, and spiced maple syrup ~ it’s perfect for harvest parties, bonfires, and all manner of fall fun.
what you’ll need for this cider batch cocktail
- apple cider
- go for the fresh stuff, in the refrigerated section of your store, or straight from the orchard. If you can’t find that, use a good bottled cider.
- lemon juice
- spiced maple syrup
- I make an easy maple syrup infused with cinnamon, anise, allspice, cardamom and clove.
quickie mezcal guide
what is mezcal?
Mezcal is the overall term for Mexican spirits made from the hearts of the agave plant. Tequila is the most common form of mezcal, but mezcal has a stronger, smokier flavor and a higher alcohol content.
Mezcal is made from pit roasted hearts of agave ~ they’re actually roasted for several days in underground pits lined with lava rocks. This gives the spirit a distinctive taste that makes it perfect for this fall cocktail. (Find out more about mezcal here.)
why is mezcal so expensive?
Mezcal is an expensive spirit! The agave itself can take over a decade to mature, and then has to be harvested, pit roasted, and finally fermented. The whole process is highly labor intensive and is largely done by hand, so it’s a truly artisanal product. But check your local liquor store, there are good bottles in the $30-$40 range.
Mezcal can be clear (when it’s young) and amber colored (after it has aged.) Either can be used for this cider cocktail.
a spice infused maple syrup gives this cider cocktail a warm fall vibe
Many cocktails rely on infused syrups for flavor. This one is easy ~ just bring maple syrup and spices to a boil on the stove. Remove it from the heat and let steep as it cools to room temperature. Just strain and it’s ready to use. The resulting syrup smells and tastes amazing, I think I want to try it with pancakes this fall!
why we love this mezcal cider cocktail
I like that this drink is not too sweet or too cider-y, the mezcal packs a nice smokey punch. Of course you can moderate the amount of alcohol to your taste, but as written the cocktail is drinkable and festive while still being a serious cocktail.
You can make the whole pitcher ahead and stash it in the refrigerator. Pull it out when your friends arrive and you’ll look like a star host and mixologist to boot. My fun glassware is from Caskata.
a few tips for making batch cocktails
- Measure everything carefully because any errors will be magnified in a batch cocktail. Either use a tested recipe like this one, or do your math!
- If possible, chill all your ingredients so your cocktail will be cold from the start.
- Most batch cocktails can be made ahead, which is a real convenience, but you don’t want to add ice or anything fizzy. Leave those out until right before serving time.
to dilute or not to dilute batch cocktails?
When you make pitcher cocktails like this you skip the step where the individual cocktail is shaken with ice before pouring. This step actually adds water to a drink, and is factored in by mixologists when creating a drink recipe. To compensate for this some batch cocktail recipes will call for some added water. We didn’t find that necessary with this drink, it’s just perfect served straight from the pitcher over ice (which will dilute it anyway.)
can you make this a low-ABV batch cocktail?
Absolutely, it’s a great candidate for that because there are lots of other flavors going on. Start with one third the amount of Mezcal and taste it before committing.
more cozy fall drinks
- Hot Buttered Apple Cider
- Slow Cooker Mulled Wine
- Pomegranate Mulled Cider
- The Boulevardier Cocktail
- How to make Smoking Cocktails with Dry Ice (or not!)
- The Ultimate Hot Chocolate
- How to Make Homemade Irish Cream
- George Washington’s Eggnog Recipe
Mezcal Cider Cocktail
spiced maple syrup
- 3/4 cup pure maple syrup
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 6 whole cloves
- 2 star anise pods
- 4 cardamom pods, crushed
- 4 allspice berries
- 750 ml bottle of mezcal, about 3 cups
- 2 1/2 cups apple cider
- 3/4 cup lemon juice, which is about 3 large lemons
- thin apple slices
- cinnamon sticks
- Put all the syrup ingredients into a saucepan and bring to a boil. Turn off the heat and let steep until it cools to room temperature. Strain and set aside. Note: you can make the syrup up to several days ahead.
- For the cocktail, mix the mezcal, cider, lemon juice, and the spiced maple syrup (3/4 cup) in a pitcher. Stir well. Serve right away over ice, or chill until needed.
- Garnish your cocktails with thin slices of apple, and cinnamon sticks.