harvest apple ginger smash in a glass on a surface

Celebrate National Happy Hour Day with this refreshing Harvest Apple Ginger Smash cocktail made with a homemade apple-spice simple syrup, vodka, ginger liqueur, and apple cider. Every sip is full of sweet apple flavor with a kick of ginger and warm spices. Serve it with a cinnamon-sugar rim and garnishes of thin-sliced apple and rosemary sprigs and cheers to fall flavors!


harvest apple ginger smash cocktails on a surface

If you’re hanging out with me at happy hour, most often you’ll find me with a glass of wine or a Manhattan in hand—my two usual drinks of choice. But when it’s National Happy Hour Day, a girl’s gotta switch things up with a more festive cocktail. Enter this Harvest Apple Ginger Smash cocktail, which will undoubtedly be my new go-to beverage for happy hours from here until Christmas.

This post is a sponsored collaboration with C&H® Sugar. All opinions are my own.

What is a Harvest Apple Cider Ginger Smash Cocktail?

Here’s what’s going on in this tasty beverage: A homemade apple-spice simple syrup made with fresh apples and ginger and not one, but two types of C&H® Sugar—C&H® Organic Raw Cane Sugar and C&H® Golden Brown Sugar. A balanced combination of vodka, ginger liqueur, and apple cider. A cinnamon-sugar rim and garnishes of fresh apple and rosemary. Together, these make for a cocktail that will carry you through the rest of the year with warm spices and sweet flavors in every sip.

harvest apple ginger smash cocktails on a surface

Why C&H® Sugar Makes the Best Harvest Apple Cider Ginger Smash Cocktail

What I love about using both C&H® Organic Raw Cane Sugar and C&H® Golden Brown Sugar in this recipe is that, together, they enhance all the flavors of this cocktail that make it so delicious. The C&H® Organic Raw Cane Sugar lends a natural sweetness to the drink and the garnished rim, and the C&H® Golden Brown Sugar provides a rich, molasses-like flavor to the simple syrup. When it comes to cocktails, I always recommend using high-quality ingredients when possible, and C&H® Sugar definitely fits the bill for this recipe.

harvest apple ginger smash cocktails on a surface

How to Make a Harvest Apple Ginger Smash Cocktail

So how does one make a Harvest Apple Ginger Smash cocktail? Glad you asked! To break it down:

  • Make the apple spice simple syrup. This basically means stir C&H® Golden Brown Sugar, C&H® Organic Raw Cane Sugar, apple slices, cinnamon, ginger, and water on the stovetop until everything dissolves into a slightly syrupy, highly aromatic liquid (Bonus: Your home will smell AMAZING).
  • Stir together vodka, ginger liqueur, apple cider and some of that aforementioned simple syrup.
  • Divide the drink between two cocktail glasses decked out with cinnamon-sugar rims.
  • Add ice and garnishes and say cheers!
harvest apple ginger smash cocktails on a surface

This cocktail is fancy enough to serve at a dinner party or any occasion that calls for a signature drink, but it’s also simple enough that you can stir one up on a weeknight just because. What I love most about it is that it’s sweet, but not too sweet—like the cocktail cousin to a hard cider—so every sip is refreshing rather than syrupy. Let’s just put it this way: My husband is a fairly picky cocktail drinker, and he loved this drink. That’s a major seal of approval in my book.

The recipe I share below serves two people, but it’s very easily scalable if you’re serving these for a bigger group (plus, the simple syrup recipe makes plenty so you can whip up a drink in no time). All garnishes are optional, of course, but highly recommended (especially that cinnamon-sugar rim, which is so festive and flavorful!). Just be sure to serve with plenty of ice, as this drink tastes best very cold; good thing this drink also tastes best while cozied up under a blanket by a fire (at least I imagine it does).

harvest apple ginger smash cocktail in hand

Friends, if you’re looking for a new happy hour drink that hits the spot, this Harvest Apple Ginger Smash cocktail is for you. Give it a try, tell your people—or better yet, invite them over to toast with you. It is National Happy Hour Day, after all, so we have good reason to celebrate with this fall-forward pick-me-up.

P.S. C&H® Sugar is available on Amazon!

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harvest apple ginger smash in a glass on a surface

Harvest Apple Ginger Smash Cocktail

  • Author: Stephanie
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 2 drinks 1x
  • Category: Cocktail
  • Method: Cook
  • Cuisine: American

Description

A delicious and refreshing cocktail made with a homemade apple spice simple syrup, ginger liqueur, apple cider and a cinnamon-C&H® sugar rim. Perfect for fall and holiday parties!


Scale

Ingredients

For the apple spice simple syrup:

For the cinnamon-sugar rim:

For the cocktails:

  • 2 to 4 ounces vodka
  • 2 ounces ginger liqueur
  • 1 cup apple cider
  • Ice, crushed or cubed
  • Thin-sliced apple and/or fresh rosemary sprigs, for garnish (optional)

Instructions

  1. Make the apple spice simple syrup: In a small saucepan, combine C&H® Golden Brown Sugar, 1/2 cup C&H® Organic Raw Cane Sugar, water, apple slices, 1 tablespoon cinnamon and fresh ginger. Heat over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, about 20-30 minutes or until sugar is dissolved and mixture is slightly syrupy. Remove from heat; set aside to cool completely, then strain into an airtight container. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
  2. Meanwhile, in a small shallow bowl, stir together 2 tablespoons C&H® Organic Raw Cane Sugar and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon until well combined. Dip rims of two cocktail glasses in apple cider or water, then dip and roll in cinnamon-sugar mixture to coat. 
  3. In a large cup or cocktail shaker, stir together two handfuls of ice along with vodka, ginger liqueur, 2 ounces of the cooled apple spice simple syrup and 1 cup apple cider. Strain mixture between prepared cocktail glasses; add ice as desired. Garnish with apple slices and rosemary sprigs, if desired.

Notes

  • If you love ginger, add an extra teaspoon to the simple syrup for added spice.
  • Save extra simple syrup for more cocktails! The syrup can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week.
  • Use a sweeter apple variety to flavor the simple syrup, such as Gala, Braeburn or Honeycrisp apples.

Keywords: apple cider cocktail, ginger liqueur, apple spice simple syrup, cinnamon sugar rim

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