The Apple of My Eye Cocktail

Do me a favor. Don’t call this an Apple-tini, ok?

Okay, now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, Happy Valentine’s Day! Make this drink for the apple of your eye and prepare to impress. It has all the flavors of a luscious, juicy slice of apple pie without being cloying.

Apple of my Eye cocktail

The Apple of my Eye calls for a fairly well stocked liquor cabinet. You will need apple brandy or calvados, bourbon, amaretto, cardamom bitters, and hard apple cider. The cocktail also calls for a bit of brown sugar and a lemon.

Apple of My Eye Cocktail

As craft cocktails have become quite trendy, there’s been a revival in boutique bitters. The cardamom bitters called for in this cocktail give a nice “cookie spice” flavor note to this drink that goes really well with apple. Don’t substitute Angostura bitters, but feel free to play with vanilla or ginger bitters if you have them.


  • 1 oz. apple brandy
  • 1 oz. bourbon
  • 5 drops or one dash cardamom bitters
  • juice of half a lemon
  • 2 tsp brown sugar
  • 2 tsp amaretto
  • 1-2 oz. hard, dry apple cider


If desired, run a wedge of lemon around the rim of a chilled cocktail glass. Turn the glass upside-down and dip the rim of the glass into unrefined sugar. Set aside.

Add all the ingredients except the hard cider to a cocktail shaker or mason jar filled with crushed ice. Shake hard and strain cocktail into the prepared glass. Top cocktail with a float of hard apple cider. Garnish with a small slice of apple and serve right away.


If you want another option for Valentine’s Day libations, I humbly recommend another favorite, The Hallmark Cocktail, which combines the flavors of flowers, chocolate and champagne into one dynamite romantic drink.

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  1. says

    Hi Erica,

    I LOVE your site, and I always look forward to your weekly cocktail recipes! However, I can’t eat sugar or sweeteners (liquor in moderation is fine, though liquers aren’t.) Any ideas for a delicious cocktail that doesn’t have those things? Thought it might be a nice challenge for my favorite e-mixologist!



    • says

      Hi Kat – are all sweeteners, including honey, agave and stevia out? Most cocktails – almost by definition have a sweet and a bittering component, so without a sweet component a lot of drinks aren’t possible. The big exceptions that stands out to me are the pure alcohol drinks (like the martini) and juice-sweetened drinks, like a greyhound (vodka and grapefruit juice). You might like a fresh lime juice gin gimlet. Typically the gimlet is made with sweetened lime juice called Roses, but I prefer just fresh squeezed lime and good gin. It’s very refreshing. You can sub vodka if you like. With a splash of soda on ice, the drink is a gimlet ricky and makes a great substitute for a gin and tonic for folks avoiding sugar and sweetened mixers.

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