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Apple Manhattan – Apple Cider Cocktail

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Last Updated on June 1, 2023 by The Noms

Apple Cider is one of our favorite parts of fall, and it is great combined in this twist on the classic cocktail! We love Manhattan cocktail variations like this Apple Manhattan!


Every year we take a trip down to Nebraska City to one of of our local orchards where we meet the grandparents and let the boys explore the orchard and pick their own apples. We make a day of it, eating lunch in the apple barn where they sort the apples fresh from the trees into bags and pass a bunch onto the cider presses.

Apple Cider Manhattan - orange cocktail in a coupe with cherries on a pick. Flowers behind and on a wooden table.

Apple Cider Manhattan

Seeing the sorting process and cider presses in action are always a highlight of the trip. We can try the cider just minutes after being bottled. Having fresh cider in our house always inspires new cocktails, one of which is the Apple Cider Manhattan, a classic combination of apple cider and whiskey together.


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Manhattan Cocktail

The Apple Cider Manhattan is a fun fall twist on the classic Manhattan, adding in some of that fresh apple cider we had seen being pressed at Kimmel Orchard in Nebraska City just hours before. The apple cider adds a sweet tart fall flavor to the cocktail, a flavor that works really well with the whiskey we used. The apple cider also adds a nice caramel color that makes for a very attractive drink.

An Apple Cider Manhattan Cocktail in an etched coupe with brandied cherries on a cocktail pick with orange flowers in the background

Manhattan Cocktail Ingredients

  • whiskey
  • sweet vermouth
  • lemon juice
  • apple cider
  • bitters
  • simple syrup


What’s the Difference Between a Manhattan and an Old Fashioned?

We stayed true to the original Manhattan by adding in a bit of sweet vermouth, which adds a nice complex herbal note and slight hint of bitterness. The vermouth pulls out some of the spice notes in the whiskey, which is probably why the folks who originally mixed up the Manhattan paired these two spirits up!

An Apple Cider Manhattan Cocktail in an etched coupe with brandied cherries on a cocktail pick with orange flowers in the background

Mixing Glass / Coupe (sorry, ours is vintage!) / Jigger / Hawthorn Strainer

Making the Perfect Manhattan Cocktail

So, most Manhattan cocktails use rye as the base spirit, but I chose to use what might be my favorite, Cut Spike Single Malt, a very smooth whiskey that just happens to be distilled locally. Cut Spike has hints of a fine scotch (but since it is distilled in the US, can’t be called scotch) that really popped with the apple cider, the hints of oak and toffee partnering up with the sweet tart of the cider very nicely.


The dash of simple syrup is included if you need to make your Manhattan a little sweeter, but can be omitted if desired.

Apple Cider Manhattan, an orange cocktail in etched coupe with cherries on a bamboo pick. Orange flowers behind, on a wooden board with cherries

If You Are Looking for More Cocktails with Bitters, Try These!


The Perfect Manhattan Drink

This whiskey is a very smooth spirit, which makes this Apple Cider Manhattan a smooth sipper, perfect for a cool fall evening by a fire. Also, make sure to check out another cider cocktail, the Apple Cider Sidecar!




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Like this recipe? Try these below, too!

The Maple and Cider Kentucky Mule - A Bourbon CocktailMaple & Cider Kentucky Mule


Bourbon Butterbeer CocktailBourbon Butterbeer Cocktail

Other Manhattan Cocktails

Other Apple Cider Cocktails

Apple Cider Manhattan - A whiskey Cocktail
Yield: 1

Apple Cider Manhattan - A Whiskey Cocktail

Prep Time: 3 minutes
Total Time: 3 minutes

A fall twist on the classic Manhattan cocktail, with the addition of apple cider.


  • 1.50 ounce whiskey or rye
  • .75 ounce sweet vermouth
  • 1.50 ounces fresh apple cider
  • .50 ounce fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • .50 ounce simple syrup
  • 2 dashes Angostura Bitters


Pour all ingredients into a mixing glass with ice.

Stir to mix and chill.

Strain into a chilled coupe.

Garnish with a brandied cherry.


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Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 198Total Fat: 0.1gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 12mgCarbohydrates: 18.5gFiber: 0.1gSugar: 6gProtein: 0.1g

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Monday 7th of November 2016

This looks so perfect for Fall. Thank you for sharing!!!

The 'Noms.

Sunday 13th of November 2016

Thanks so much! Cheers!


Monday 7th of November 2016

This looks delicious! I just started getting into Manhattans and this one looks perfect for fall - I love the color too!

Patricia @ Grab a Plate

Saturday 5th of November 2016

I need a trip to an apple orchard! This cocktail sounds amazing - and perfect for the season!

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