Smoky Apple Margarita

Fall is here, peeps! That means falling leaves, carving pumpkins and, of course, cozy cocktails. It doesn’t get much cozier than this smoky apple margarita. The smokiness comes from a bit of mezcal, a Mexican spirit similar to tequila and the whole thing is finished with a delicious cardamom sugar rim. Need I say more?

Close up of apple margarita with red apple in the background

About this Cocktail

If you follow The Boozy Oyster blog, you know that I love mezcal. I’ve written extensively about it because it’s deliciously smoky and easily takes cocktails to a different level.

In this apple margarita, I used it to balance the sweetness of the apple syrup and to add some smokiness to the cocktail. If you can’t find mezcal where you live, feel free to use tequila instead. I would recommend a nice reposado (or aged) tequila to get some of the same smokiness that’s inherent to mezcal.

The smokiness of mezcal adds a layer of warmth to this cocktail, but I also decided to make a cardamom sugar to rim the glass to really turn this into the perfect fall cocktail. It’s super easy to make, and it does make a difference, so don’t skip it!

Straight on shot of the apple margarita next to a red apple

Making Syrup from Apples

Making simple syrups is super easy, and this one can even be made with leftover apple peels! I decided to use a whole apple in mine because I didn’t have any apple peels around, but feel free to try it with the peels.Β  Instead of two large apples, you will need the peel from around 5 red apples.

I also used turbinado sugar rather than regular granulated sugar to infuse the syrup with a faint taste of caramel. Turbinado sugar is just a less processed, coarser sugar, and it has a beautiful light brown color. You can find it in most grocery stores, but feel free to substitute it with granulated sugar.

If you would like to know more about simple syrups for cocktails, make sure to check out this post.

I hope you enjoy this apple margarita!

Smoky Apple Margarita

October 4, 2018
: 1
: 5 min
: 15 min
: 20 min
: Easy

This cozy apple margarita gets some smokiness from mezcal, a spirit similar to tequila. It's finished with a cardamom sugar rim.


  • For the apple syrup (makes 2 cups):
  • 2 large red apples, coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 cup of turbinado sugar
  • For the margarita:
  • 2 oz of mezcal (I used Vida by Del Maguey)
  • 1/2 oz apple syrup (recipe follows)
  • 1/4 oz freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 3 dashes of Dillon's small batch bitters
  • 1 dash of Angostura bitters
  • Slices of apple and lime to garnish
  • For the cardamom sugar rim:
  • 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of ground cardamom
  • 1/8 cup of freshly squeezed lime juice
  • Step 1 Make the apple syrup: In a medium sauce pan, combine all the ingredients for the syrup. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium high heat. Lower the temperature and simmer for 15-20 min, or until the apple pieces start to break down.
  • Step 2 Let the mixture cool for 10 min. Strain through a fine mesh sieve and into a clean jar or bottle. Let cool completely and store in the fridge for up to a month.
  • Step 3 To make the margarita: Combine the granulated sugar and ground cardamon in a shallow bowl and set aside. Pour the lime juice into another shallow bowl and set aside.
  • Step 4 When you are ready to assemble the cocktail, take your glass and carefully dip the rim into the lime juice that you placed in the bowl. Dip the rim in the cardamon sugar and tidy the edges with a paper towel if necessary.
  • Step 5 Fill the glass with ice.
  • Step 6 Fill a cocktail mixing glass with ice. Add the mezcal, apple syrup, lime juice, and bitters and stir until chilled
  • Step 7 Strain into the glass with the ice and garnish with a slice of apple and a slice of lime.
  • Step 8 Serve immediately.


  • If you can’t find mezcal, feel free to use tequila. Just make sure it’s a nice reposado (or aged) tequila.
  • You can make the apple syrup using apple peels instead of whole apples. You will need the peel of about 5 large red apples.

Here are some other mezcal cocktails you might enjoy:

If you like this recipe, please make sure to pin it, share it on social media, or email it to your friends. Don’t be shy! People are always grateful for some cooking inspiration πŸ™‚

Also, if you have any questions or just want to let me know that you liked the recipe, please leave a comment below. Hearing from other adventurous home cooks always makes my day!

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