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This perfect fall drink, this Apple Cider Mocktail, has tart apple cider flavor with warm maple sweetness. The best part is there is a surprising zip at the end that’ll make you question its zero-proof claim. Serve warm or chilled and for an extra festive touch, be sure and light a sprig of rosemary, then blow it out.

Apple Cider mocktail in glass with slice of apple and spring of smoking rosemary

What is a mocktail?

A mocktail is a cocktail without the liquor. Instead, juices, sodas, infused waters, fruits, and many other non-alcoholic ingredients, are mixed to create a delicious flavored drink.

Is there a non alchololic apple cider?

Apple cider is the name used in the United States for an unfiltered, unsweetened, non-alcoholic beverage made from mashed apples. Typically it is referred to simply as “cider” in the US. It should not be confused with the alcoholic beverage known as hard cider in other parts of the world.


apple cider, rosemary, ginger ale apple sugar maple syrup and cinnamon sticks
  • Ginger Ale: You can use regular or diet
  • Maple Syrup: Be sure to use real, not artificial syrup
  • Apples: Choose your favorite, red or green

What kind of cider is used?

When it’s apple cider season, the first place you’ll want to check is the refrigerator section in your grocery’s produce section. Better yet, if you live in an area that grows apples, stop by a local roadside stand and pick up a gallon.

If it is not apple season, your next best choice is pasteurized apple cider, which is available year-round. It’s not as fresh and tangy as fresh-pressed, but it is better than plain apple juice.

Musselman’s Fresh Pressed Apple Cider

Can you substitute apple juice?

Apple cider is made from washed, cut, and ground apples into an apple mash. The juice creates a strong tangy flavor. On the other hand, apple juice undergoes filtration to remove pulp and is then pasteurized to extend the shelf life. You can substitute apple juice for apple cider; however, it will be a milder apple flavor without much tang after a sip.

Tips for making a big batch for a party

You can begin to batch your mocktail in advance by combining all shelf-stable ingredients in a well-sealed container in your fridge. For this recipe, multiply it by the number of servings you want, and then apple cider, maple syrup, and apple cider vinegar—place in an airtight pitcher and chill. Go ahead and set up your bar area the night before. Chill your ginger ale separately. Have sugar and saucer ready to rim the glasses. Have rosemary, apple, knife, and cutting board ready for garnishing. Wait to slice your apple just before serving.

How to garnish a mocktail

Fill a saucer or shallow bowl with a pile of cocktail sugar. Wet the rim of your glass with some apple cider or water. Hold the wet-rimmed glass at about a 45-degree angle to the saucer. Dab the rim into the sugar while slowly turning the glass to cover only the outer edge. Shake off any excess sugar over a sink. 

Cocktail Sugar

Next, you will want to add some garnishes such as sliced apple, a cinnamon stick, or rosemary. Fresh green rosemary is a great herb to create a wonderful aroma and ambiance to the drink. Just before serving, light the top of the fresh sprig on fire. Allow to burn just a bit and serve. Don’t use dried rosemary. It will burn too quickly and might be dangerous.

What to serve mocktails in

Get creative and have fun serving your apple cider mocktail. Try serving in unique cocktail glasses. Be sure they are clear, so your garnish of apple slices, cinnamon stick, or rosemary shines through.

Can this be an apple cider mocktail

It is easy to make this apple cider mocktail into a cocktail. Just follow this recipe and enjoy! Garnish the same as you would the mocktail.

  • 2 oz apple cider chilled (1/4 cup)
  • 1 tablespoon real maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 4 oz ginger ale chilled (1/2 cup)
  • 2 ounces bourbon

What to serve with mocktails and cocktails

Since this is a sweeter mocktail, it would be good to serve some savory appetizers to your guest.

Sweet & Spicy Roasted Cashews are a delightful appetizer that is quick and easy to make before your party. The sweet maple flavor goes perfectly with the apple cider in your mocktail.

These savory and easy-to-make Parmesan Rosemary Shortbread cookies are an elegant appetizer or special late-night snack. You can make the dough the day before and then slice and back just before your party.

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Apple Cider mocktail in glass with slice of apple and spring of smoking rosemary
5 from 1 rating

Apple Cider Mocktail

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 1
This Apple Cider Mocktail a has tart apple cider flavor with warm maple sweetness and a surprising zip at the end that’ll make you question its zero-proof claim.

Note: Be sure to read through the recipe’s post for tips and details about this recipe.

hand showing you to tap on the ingredient to add to your walmart and target list.


  • 2 oz apple cider, chilled (1/4 cup)
  • 1 tablespoon real maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 4 oz ginger ale, chilled (1/2 cup)
  • 2 tablespoons sugar, cocktail sugar
  • rosemary, for garnish
  • cinnamon stick, for garnish
  • apple, slice for garnish


  • In a highball glass or a copper Moscow mule cup, mix apple cider, maple syrup, and vinegar.
  • Stir to combine. Fill to the rim with ice. Top with ginger ale
  • Place a slice of apple and a sprig of rosemary. Light rosemary, allow to smoke just a bit for an aromatic effect and serve


*Note: To make this lower calorie you can use diet ginger ale and sugar-free maple syrup for flavoring. 
Serving: 1g, Calories: 213kcal, Carbohydrates: 54g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 1g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Sodium: 13mg, Potassium: 108mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 51g, Vitamin A: 1IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 30mg, Iron: 1mg
Cuisine: American
Course: Drinks
Author: Gina Dickson

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