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The Woodsman – Brandy Cocktail

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Last Updated on November 2, 2023 by Leah Hall

Perfectly compromised of fall flavors, this maple and brandy cocktail is perfect for sipping on those cool autumn nights.


During the long winter evenings we like to find cocktails that are good for sipping on. Especially while enjoying a good book and a roaring fire. While a good hot toddy or a classic Tom and Jerry are delicious hot cocktails in the winter, we still enjoy some chilled sippers. We love those that can bring a warm glow to you thanks to their big boozy punch. This brandy cocktail uses the classic mixing technique of a mixing glass.


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Apple Brandy and Maple

Today’s cocktail, The Woodsman fits into the big bold boozy category as it uses classic winter spirits of applejack and ginger liqueur to really bring the flavor!

The Woodsman - An Apple Brandy and Ginger Cocktail in a coupe, mixing glass, bar spoon and jigger with flowers in the background

Not the same coupes, ours are vintage, but these are cute! Bar Spoon

Applejack is a classically American spirit dating back to the colonial days. It was an extremely popular spirit thanks to plentiful apple orchards and the fact it didn’t require expensive and rare equipment like stills to make. Instead of distilling using a still, Applejack was made using the freeze distilling method. This also makes applejack a perfect winter spirit, as the cold winter temps were perfect for freeze distilling.

The Woodsman - An Apple Brandy and Ginger Cocktail in coupe with orange peel, mixing glass and bar spoon, jigger in background

Mixing GlassJigger

What is Applejack?

These days, Applejack is made using stills and distilling like many other high proof spirits. We chose to use a locally distilled apple brandy from Cedar Ridge Distillery in Iowa. Cedar Ridge uses fresh fermented apple cider to make their brandy, and then distilling it to punch up the proof.


Cedar Ridge then ages them in oak casks which imparts a rich spicy note to the spirit. It makes the apple brandy a nice warming spirit perfect for winter drinks.

The Woodsman - An Apple Brandy and Ginger Cocktail in cocktail coupe, orange peel

For The Woodsman, we used the apple brandy as our base spirit, the sweet and spicy notes of the brandy bringing a nice boozy foundation for the drink. The apple brandy has hints of the oak it was aged in, bringing a richness to the drink.

Since this is a winter cocktail, we wanted something that would bring more of the spices that really work with winter flavors. Nothing says winter more than ginger, so we added in a little splash of ginger liqueur as well.

The Woodsman - An Apple Brandy and Ginger Cocktail in a coupe, mixing glass and bar spoon, jigger and flowers in background

What other Flavors did we Use in the Brandy Cocktail?

The ginger liqueur brings more spice and warmth to the cocktail, but doesn’t bring any sweetness. Needing to bring it into balance, we added in another great winter flavor, maple syrup. The maple syrup adds a rich nutty sweetness to the drink while pulling out some of the hints of vanilla and apple sweetness of the apple brandy and the spice of the ginger liqueur. Maple and apple work really well together, and when the ginger is added in, a definite winter flavor appears.

The Woodsman - An Apple Brandy and Ginger Cocktail in a coupe, orange peel

What Ingredients are Needed for the Woodsman Cocktail?

  • Ginger Liqueur
  • Maple Syrup
  • Applejack
  • Angostura Bitters


To finish the brandy cocktail, we added in a few dashes of aromatic bitters. The aromatic bitters brings a nice mix of herbal and baking spices that really layers on some flavors to the drink. Once the bitters are added in, the Woodsman rounds itself into a nice manly drink, full of complex spices, strong boozy notes and plenty of bold flavors.


If You Are Looking for More Recipes with Liqueur, Try These!


A garnish of a fresh orange peel adds a bright citrus perfume that opens up your sense of smell. Likewise it lets you inhale all the rich spicy scents of the bitters. You might just find yourself sipping this brandy cocktail by the fire with a good book if you aren’t careful!


If You Are Looking for More Ginger Cocktails, Try These!




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Like this recipe? Try these below, too!

Maple Old FashionedMaple Old Fashioned


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


Other Applejack Cocktails

Other Maple Cocktails

The Woodsman, brown cocktail in coupe with orange peel. Mixing glass with ice, jigger and orange flowers in background
Yield: 1

The Woodsman - An Applejack and Maple Cocktail

Prep Time: 3 minutes
Total Time: 3 minutes

A lovely fall cocktail with applejack and maple syrup, with a dash of ginger.


Woodsman Cocktail

  • 2 ounces applejack or apple brandy
  • .50 ounce ginger liqueur
  • .75 ounce maple syrup
  • 4 dashes Angostura bitters
  • orange twist for garnish


Add all liquids into a mixing glass.

Add ice and stir to chill.

Strain into a coupe.

Garnish with orange twist.


Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 321Total Fat: 17.3gSaturated Fat: 10.8gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 50mgSodium: 307mgCarbohydrates: 20.4gFiber: 0gSugar: 18.5gProtein: 13.9g

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Tuesday 1st of January 2019

As someone who lives in Omaha (Papillion) and is from Cedar Rapids (where Cedar Ridge is located) and I happen to have a bottle of Cedar Ridge Apple Brandy, I am excited to try this cocktail! Great work on the blog and I will be following you guys from here on out!

The 'Noms.

Tuesday 1st of January 2019

Awesome, so glad to hear it! That apple brandy is so good, and we hope you enjoy it! Let us know what you think, cheers!

Sprinkles and Sprouts

Friday 28th of September 2018

This looks amazingly delicious!!! I love cocktails with maple syrup in them. And anything I can bring out my coupes for is a winner :D YUM

The 'Noms.

Saturday 29th of September 2018

Thank you! I LOVE to use coupes, they are my favorite!

Kimberly @ Berly's Kitchen

Thursday 19th of January 2017

This sounds wonderful! Any drink with maple is good to go. I need to make one of these over the weekend.

The 'Noms.

Sunday 22nd of January 2017

Thank you! We thought it was great! Hope you enjoyed it!

Bobbi Burleson

Thursday 19th of January 2017

This drink sounds delicious, and like one that needs to happen at my house ASAP!


Wednesday 18th of January 2017

Oh, this sounds like a delicious drink! I can't imagine apple and maple together but I am going to find out.

The 'Noms.

Sunday 22nd of January 2017

Thanks! It's a great combo! Cheers!

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