Spiced Apple Swizzle: Reddit Creative Cocktail Challenge

posted in: Mixing | 0

Fall means apple season. Let’s set aside the apple scented candles and potpourri and really make the house smell good with the spiced apple swizzle I created for Reddit’s Creative Cocktail challenge.

First, the recipe.


  • 2 oz Flor de Caña 7 yr
  • 0.5 oz Spiced Apple Syrup
  • 0.5 oz Lemon Juice, fine strained
  • 0.25 oz Campari

Pour all ingredients into a cocktail shaker over cracked ice and shake vigorously. Strain into a Collins glass filled with crushed ice. Swizzle until the glass frosts, and then top with additional crushed ice. Garnish with an apple slice.

It came out tasty – the apple is very forward but it does not overpower the rum and it definitely doesn’t cloy like an appletini. The Campari balances everything out – adding enough extra sweetness to supplement the smaller-than-usual amount of syrup for a rum sour type drink, while also adding a bitter orange flavor that works with the spice to give the drink depth. Plus, I love drinking swizzles – feeling the frosty ice on the outside of the glass is a fun experience in itself.


The goal with this drink was to pull together the flavors of an apple in a cocktail without losing the crisp astringency that is so familiar in eating a real raw apple. However, I really wanted this to compliment the rum too, which is why I wanted my apple syrup to be spiced and include a darker sugar. So, the function of the ingredients are:

  • Rum – base spirit
  • Spiced Apple Syrup – carrying sweet flavor of apple and fall spices
  • Lemon Juice – replacing the tartness of fresh apple
  • Campari – just a small amount so as to imitate the bitter astringency of an apple skin without overwhelming the drink’s other flavors

The thing that qualifies this cocktail for the challenge is, of course, the spiced apple syrup, which I made with the following:

  • 6 Braeburn apples
  • 20 whole allspice
  • 20 whole cloves
  • 2 whole nutmeg
  • 8 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 cup demarara syrup

So, first I chopped up the apples like so and placed them in a pot with the spices and six cinnamon sticks:

1-apples 2-apples-spices

Next, I covered them with water and brought the whole thing to a boil. After boiling for one hour, I covered and allowed it to simmer for another hour. After all that, I mashed the soft boiled apples in the pot until they looked like this:


Then fine strained out the solids:


Next, I measured out two cups of the apple spice liquid and saved the rest for a fall cider. I just need a little bit to make my syrup, after all.


Next, I put this into a pan to reduce by half over heat:


Of course, none of this is possible without a Corgi spirit guide.


Once it reduced down from 2 cups to 1, I added 1 cup of demarara sugar to make it a syrup.

8-apples-reduced 9-demarara-sugar

Finally, I added two more cinnamon sticks for overnight spice infusion. And there you have it! Spiced apple syrup:


Happy drinking!

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