This Apple Pie Moscow Mule is my homage to apple season in liquid form. I absolutely love apple cider, as in the jugs of cold pressed apple juice that are so damn crisp and refreshing. I have been known to guzzle that cider straight from the jug. So this cocktail centers that delicious cider, features an apple pie simple syrup and fizzy ginger beer. You would think that this cocktail would be too sweet since it has simple syrup in it but I assure you it is not. The ginger beer and the limes cut through the sweetness in true Moscow Mule fashion. And you can decide how much syrup you want to add so you choose the sweetness level.

Give this one a try and let me know in the comments how it goes.

Difficulty level: Easy
Active time:
15 min
Total time:
45 min

You’ll need:

1 quart Apple cider
1 - 2 cups vodka
2 cans ginger beer
Juice of half a lime
1 apple (any kind you like)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup water
3 cinnamon sticks
1 tablespoon chopped fresh ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
a pinch of ground nutmeg

For the cinnamon-sugar rim: 
- 1/4 cup granulated white sugar
- pinch of ground cinnamon
- pinch of ground nutmeg
- pinch of ground cardamom
- pinch of ground cloves

Apple slices for garnish
Lime slices for garnish

Let’s do it!

  • Start by making the apple pie simple syrup. Combine 1/2 cup water and 1/2 cup brown sugar in a medium saucepan and simmer uncovered over medium heat. Whisk just until the sugar is dissolved in the water. This should only take a minute or two. 

  • Whisk in the ground cardamom, cloves and nutmeg and add the fresh ginger and cinnamon sticks. Simmer on low for 5 minutes then turn off the heat and let stand for 5 minutes to continue steeping the pie flavors into the syrup. Be very mindful that your heat is not too high because the sugar will burn and then you'll have to start over! 

  • Pour the syrup over a sieve into a heatproof measuring cup (or bowl) to strain out the ginger and cinnamon sticks. Discard the cinnamon sticks and ginger (unless you can find another use for them). Chill the syrup in the fridge for at least 30 minutes or flash chill in the freezer for 10- 15 minutes. You just want it to be cool enough to add to your cocktail.

  • While your syrup is simmering/steeping, prepare your cinnamon-sugar rim mixture: in a shallow dish or on a small plate, combine 1/4 cup granulated sugar with a pinch (aka 1/8 teaspoon) of each of the spices. Use your fingers to mix it up. 

  • To apply the sugar rim, rub one of the lime slices around the top edge of the glasses you're going to use for the cocktail, then invert glasses and dip each into the sugar mixture, rolling back and forth several times until rims are evenly coated.

  • To make 2 mules, fill a cocktail shaker (or a large jar with a lid) with 1 cup apple cider, 1/3 cup vodka, juice of half a lime and 2 tablespoons of the apple pie syrup. Then shake up the contents into your sugar-rimmed glasses (with ice in them). Top with an ounce or two of the ginger beer. Garnish with lime wedges and apple slices.
  • Or if you're serving a group, you can make a pitcher that serves 4-6 mules. Fill a pitcher with 2 cups apple cider. Then add 3/4 cup vodka, juice of half a lime and 2 - 4 tablespoons of the apple pie syrup. I would recommend starting with 2 or 3 tablespoons of the syrup, stirring it up and then adding more syrup to taste. Same with the vodka if you’d like to make the cocktails stronger. Pour the cider mixture from the pitcher into individual cups (with ice in them) and then top with an ounce or two of the ginger beer. Garnish with lime wedges and apple slices.
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