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Winter Cider Cocktail Recipes

Apple cider Margarita 14-12-2022

Who said that cocktails were just for summer? Here at Sandford Orchards, we are big fans of a warming cider cocktail. Whilst cider may not be the most common ingredient in a typical cocktail, it can be the perfect ingredient. Our founder, Barny Butterfield says, “cider has sweetness, fruit and astringency, which are all core attributes in a cocktail.” So, with that in mind, we’ve put together five of our go-to cider cocktails for winter, which you can try during the upcoming festive season.



This is Sandford Orchard founder Barny’s favourite winter cider cocktail, the Slider. This is made straight after the production of Sloe Gin. Once you’ve decanted the gin from your sloes, you simply top up the vessel with dry cider and leave for two days. When you come to tasting you’ll see that the cider has pulled out the last of the gin from the sloes and it produces a truly one-off experience. Sloe gin is made from sloes, sugar and gin and is left for months, needing only occasional shaking until the sugar is dissolved. The slider is the perfect winter drink, and the sloe gin itself makes a great chaser!


Apple Cider Rum Old Fashioned

Apple Cider Rum Old Fashioned

This is a winner for all those who love whisky as well as cider, it’s rich in flavour and is a warm and comforting cocktail, perfect for winter. All you need to make it is whiskey, bitters and apple cider. We would recommend choosing the Sandford Orchards Devon Red in this, with its delicious mellow tones that will complement the whisky. For garnishing, we would recommend choosing a cinnamon stick, apple slice or orange peel – or if you’re feeling particularly adventurous, all three!


  • Serves 1
  • 160 ml apple cider
  • 60 ml whiskey
  • 2 dashes Angostura bitters
  • Apple slices, for garnish
  • Cinnamon sticks, for garnish
  • Orange peel, for garnish
  • Ice


Pour all ingredients in glass and stir to combine. Garnish with a topping of your choice.


Apple Cider Margarita

Apple cider Margarita

This cocktail sings of the festive season, with its cinnamon rim and apple garnish, it is the perfect winter drink. This is a twist on the classic margarita, elevating the flavours with a deep cider. For this cocktail, we would recommend one of our traditional ciders, such as The General with its notes of Seville orange, plum and baked apple, and long warming finish.


  • Serves 2
  • 500ml apple cider
  • 25ml silver tequila
  • 12ml freshly squeezed lemon juice sugar, for rim
  • Cinnamon, for rim salt, for rim
  • Apple slices, for garnish
  • Cinnamon sticks, for garnish


In a pitcher, combine cider, tequila, and lemon juice. Next, dip glasses in water, then into mixture of sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Finally, fill with margarita, and garnish with an apple slice and cinnamon stick.


Winter Cider Punch

Winter cider punch

This cocktail is the ultimate party guest pleaser, it’s quick and simple to make. With flavours of ginger bringing the heat, prosecco bringing the party feeling and of course, some humble cider thrown in there too, it really is a winner for the winter season.


  • Serves 12
  • Bag of ice
  • 2 litres apple cider
  • 750 ml bottle Prosecco, chilled
  • 250 ml vodka
  • 2 x 330ml ginger beer
  • 2 apples, sliced
  • 2 oranges, sliced into triangles
  • 8 cinnamon sticks
  • Cinnamon sugar, for the rimming


Start by pouring ice into a large bowl. Next, pour in apple cider, Prosecco, vodka, and ginger beer. Add apples, oranges, and cinnamon sticks. Finally, using an orange slice, wet the rim of the glasses, then dip into cinnamon sugar, turning to coat.


Apple Cider & Rum Buttered Cocktail

This one is for all the very sweet-toothed cocktail drinkers, with its rich flavours, it’s an indulgent cocktail and a wonderful festive treat. This cocktail includes melted butter, sugar and vanilla ice cream – yes ice cream, whilst the alcoholic element comes from apple cider and rum. We would recommend drinking this post lunch or dinner, as something to round of the meal. For this cocktail, we’d choose a dry cider such as our Apple and Oak with its woody, deep flavours to balance the sweetness of the cocktail.


Buttered Rum Batter:

  • 4 tbsp. softened butter
  • 3 tbsp brown sugar
  • 125g vanilla ice cream
  • 12 tbsp. ground cinnamon

Rum Drink:

  • 500 ml apple cider
  • 250 ml rum


Make the rum batter by beating the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the ice cream, cinnamon and spoon into a container, storing in the freezer for about 2 hours. Next, in a saucepan, heat the cider until boiling, remover from the heat and pour into a jug. Finally, place about 2 tablespoons of buttered rum batter into each mug. Fill about 1/3 of the way up with rum, then top with hot apple cider. Stir before serving.

So there you have it, five cocktails to try over Christmas, and if you don’t find a cider cocktail you can get on board with, why not have a look at our previous blog (LINK), for the perfect mulled cider recipe to get you into the festive spirit.

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