Whiskey And Apple Juice Are An Unrivaled Fall Cocktail Pairing

Apple juice and whiskey may not always be the most common or fashionable of pairings on cocktail bar menus, but there's no denying that they can be the perfect partners. Just as the scent of crisp, juicy apples is evocative of fall, when it comes to whiskey — whether it's a caramel-laced bourbon or a Scotch with notes of orchard fruits — it's the ultimate winter warmer of a drink.

Whiskey and apple juice both offer sweet and spicy seasonal flavors when added individually to fall drinks. And with their distinct yet complementary flavor profiles, they also work well together. Sometimes known as an apple jack, bourbon whiskey mixed with apple juice and served over ice makes for a simple and delicious drink.

But, the two amber-hued liquids can also be used together in a variety of more complex, full-flavored fall cocktails, too. From sharp sours and sweet fruity fizzes to comforting hot toddies, or even a warm whiskey and apple cider punch, wonderful things can happen when the taste of the orchard meets the taste of the distillery.

Apple juice adds sweet flavors in smoky whiskey cocktails

A whiskey sour is a traditional cocktail, dating back over 150 years, but adding apple juice to the mix makes for a sweet-yet-sharp beverage destined to become a new fall favorite. To keep things simple, just swap out the usual lemon juice the recipe calls for and replace it with apple juice, then mix with smoky Scotch whiskey, bitters, and sugar.

If you love bourbon, try mixing it with some cloudy apple juice, lemon juice, bitters, and a little maple syrup to really enhance the caramel notes in an apple whiskey sour. Or bring some fire, fruit, and froth to your favorite bourbon by making an apple-ginger whiskey sour, which also incorporates fresh root ginger and fluffy egg white.

Fancy something fresh and fizzy? Pair equal amounts of apple juice and whiskey with soda water for a long, sparkling drink. You can replace the soda with sparkling apple juice if you prefer as well. Or, keep things short and strong by adding apple cider or cider brandy to whiskey, sugar syrup, and bitters for an apple-flavored old fashioned. Alternatively, for another new take on an old favorite, mix bourbon, apple schnapps, and sweet vermouth for a punchy apple Manhattan.

Try hot apple cider with whiskey for a winter warmer

Cocktails don't have to be consumed cold, and warm apple cider rather than juice makes an equally enticing autumnal addition. If you're after something to beat the chill on a dark fall night, then try serving a warmed up whiskey and apple-based drink for the ultimate comfort.

A warming whiskey punch is ideal for fall parties and gatherings; just incorporate apple cider and spices to the mix, and serve it warm in a crockpot garnished with slices of fresh apple. Or, for a single serving cocktail that's just as cozy, you can't beat a hot toddy. Adding hot apple cider to whiskey, and incorporating honey and spices such as cinnamon or clove, boosts the flavor of the drink with rich, sweet, earthy notes.

When it comes to whiskey and apple, different varieties of the spirit can work equally well with the orchard fruit, from sweet aromatic Kentucky bourbons to a Scotch with notes of vanilla. It's a versatile combination which can be tailored to taste. So when choosing whiskeys for fall and winter cocktails, try adding some apple, too, for a flavorful fruity twist.