Apple Cocktail

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This apple cocktail recipe was created in honor of the Oscar nominated movie, Lincoln. Who, as we know, was a good old apple.

In eight days we’ll be sitting down to watch the red carpet extravaganza of the 85th Academy Awards. I’m so excited that I’ve decided to do a count down to The Oscars in liquid form. Every day between now and The Oscars I’ll be bringing you a different drink honoring one of the Best Picture Nominees.

It was Abraham Lincoln‘s birthday this week but it was overshadowed a bit by Smoochey Day. I therefore thought that I’d launch this series by celebrating him in case he’s feeling ignored.

And so, today’s Best Picture Nominee Drink is in honor of Lincoln.

This is an apple cocktail that's a riff on an Old Fashioned, but it's made with apple liqueur. Get the recipe on

The first thing I did to brainstorm about a Best Picture Cocktail in honor of Lincoln was to find out if the man had a favorite drink. Nope, not much of a drinker. Bahumbug.

How about a favorite food?

Turns out he was one of those people who thinks of food as sustenance and not so much as deliciousness (yes, these people really exist. I met one once. He was weird. I wonder if Lincoln was weird).

But it seems that Lincoln did have a particular fondness for apples. (Apples are easier to base a drink around than, say, oatmeal or pot roast so I was pretty happy about this discovery).

What I did for the Lincoln drink was to add apple to a cocktail that was popular right around when the Lincoln movie was set, The Old Fashioned (this drink has an interesting history that includes being, as far as I can tell, the first ever actual cocktail. Worth reading about).

This drink is strong and has a slight bitter note from the angostura bitters. It is that combination that gives it the old-fashioned feeling. And the apple is, of course, a little nod to Lincoln’s love.

So, on February 24th I urge you to put on a cocktail dress and go way way retro with this Best Picture Nominee Drink, the apple cocktail.

This is an apple cocktail that's a riff on an Old Fashioned, but it's made with apple liqueur. Get the recipe on

If you enjoy brandy cocktails like this apple cocktail recipe, you’ll also want to check my recipe for the Barbowhatever. It’s a delicious orange and brandy spritzer.



6 Easy Champagne Cocktails, 9 Simple Ingredients: Today's Cocktail: The Barbowhatever

Now here’s the apple cocktail recipe for you:

An Old Fashioned Apple Cocktail

This drink is a riff on the classic Old Fashioned. As such, it's a bit strong. If you prefer your drinks weaker, you can add ½ to as much as 1 full ounce of apple cider to the drink. If you do, add an extra dash of bitters to counteract some of the sweetness. You can substitute apple liqueur (not a sour green apple liqueur but a straight up apple liqueur) for the Calvados but then omit the sugar or the drink will be too sweet.


  • ½ tsp sugar
  • a good dash of Angostura bitters
  • 1 ounce Calvados (apple brandy)
  • ice
  • a maraschino cherry
  • a slice or two of dried apple


  1. Measure the sugar into a highball glass. Add the bitters and kind of smoosh them around with a muddler or a spoon. Add the Calvados and stir a few times.
  2. Drop in a couple of ice cubes.
  3. Plop in the cherry.
  4. Slip in the dried apple.
  5. Drink in immediately.

Now tell me, have you seen Lincoln yet? It’s one of the ones I haven’t actually seen but am hoping to get to tonight. Did you love it? Am I going to love it?


11 Responses to “Apple Cocktail”

  1. Paula — February 21, 2013 @ 6:43 pm (#)

    Looks like a great cocktail! Going to enjoy this series. Appreciate the research work you are doing for it to.

    • Christine Pittman — February 22, 2013 @ 9:05 am (#)

      Thanks Paula! I can’t tell you how fun it’s been. Watching the movie (or watching the trailer and reading about it, in some cases) and trying ot get a real feel for it and then putting that into drink form. I think it’s stretching my recipe development skills in new directions. Thanks for reading!

  2. katie — February 20, 2013 @ 7:18 pm (#)

    yum! this sounds divine!

  3. Rachael {SimplyFreshCooking} — February 16, 2013 @ 3:41 pm (#)

    I haven’t seen Lincoln yet but want to. This drink looks fab… I love the dried apple idea in a drink. ;)

    • Christine Pittman — February 16, 2013 @ 8:50 pm (#)

      Thanks Rachael! I went with the dried apple because I was worried about fresh apple slices turning brown if someone wanted to pre-make the garnishes. And I didn’t want to add any lemon or lime juice to the apple because I didn’t want that flavor in the drink. The result with the dried apple was actually really nice. If you sip the drink slowly, it soaks up a bit of the flavor and is a nice after-drink boozy snack.

  4. Susi — February 16, 2013 @ 3:39 pm (#)

    You have the most awesome ideas. I’m going to wait for some of the other drinks before I decide which one is my fave. I’m not much of a drinker but I’m sure I’ll find something! :)

    • Christine Pittman — February 16, 2013 @ 8:48 pm (#)

      There are going to be lots to choose from, all different kinds. There should be something to delight you. Thanks, as always, for reading and for commenting, Susi.

  5. Nicole — February 15, 2013 @ 11:04 pm (#)

    What a fun idea Christine. I am a fan of the Oscars (and cocktails) too! Unfortunately, I haven’t seen Lincoln either. I’m not sure I have seen any of the Oscar nominees this year. The hazards of living in the middle of nowhere I suppose.

    • Christine Pittman — February 16, 2013 @ 7:28 am (#)

      Thanks Nicole! I’m super excited about this. I’ve been planning out the drinks for ages and it’s been a blast. Can’t wait to share them all. Yeah, I guess living in the boonies makes it hard to see the nominees since only one of them is even available for rental as of right now. It’s Beasts of the Southern Wild, which is hardly my favorite of the bunch but is interesting. Argo goes up for rental on the 19th so there’s time to see that one if a rental place near you gets it in time.


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