Close up shot of a perfectly placed apple margarita.
Drinks & Cocktails, Recipes

The Best Fall Margarita: A Harvest Apple Flavor


If you’re looking for a sweet and festive drink for autumn, check out this Harvest Apple Fall Margarita! It’s an absolute must try cocktail!

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The Perfect Fall Drink!

Margaritas are a great drink year round as they are so versatile and delicious. While the base of tequila, lime, and a sweetener stay the same, you have the ability to customize the additions to fit the season. Adding a fruit juice can completely change the flavor profile! For example, blood orange margaritas are the perfect drink for spring. Or a spicy cucumber margarita during those hot summer months. It’s so easy to incorporate into a margarita as the cocktail is very adaptable to the season’s harvest.

During fall we crave more of that spiced apple flavor. And there’s nothing more fall than apples, cinnamon, and apple cider! This Harvest Apple Fall Margarita is the perfect cocktail to enjoy this autumn. With a homemade brown sugar and rosemary simple syrup, this recipe comes together in less than thirty minutes! Plus, this recipe is easily converted to batch your drinks for Halloween parties and Thanksgiving gatherings. Check out the recipe below!

A margarita sitting on a decorative tray with a smoked rosemary sprig sitting in the margarita to give that smoked rosemary accent to the margarita.

Making the Simple Syrup

Want to know a secret? Simple syrup is just sugar that’s been dissolved in hot water! It truly couldn’t be easier to make. As well, you can make as much or as little as you’d like depending on how much you need. Finally, much like the margarita itself, it’s a breeze to customize! The flavor comes from what you add to the simple syrup.

For this recipe, we’ll be using brown sugar and rosemary sprigs to make our homemade simple syrup. Start by adding half a cup of water, a quarter cup of brown sugar, and five to seven fresh rosemary sprigs to a small saucepan. Stir over medium heat for about ten minutes until the sugar has dissolved. Allow the simple syrup to cool completely.

Then, place a colander over a glass or a mason jar, and pour the simple syrup. Discard the rosemary sprigs and set the homemade simple syrup to the side to be used in the margarita. Keep in mind that this amount of simple syrup is enough for two margaritas, and possibly a third or fourth. If you plan to batch this recipe, adjust accordingly.

homemade rosemary simple syrup

Line the Rim

What would a good margarita be without a lined rim? While most margaritas have a salt or tajin rim, this fall margarita is going to use sugar and cinnamon! These flavors really bring out the sweetness from the apples used in this recipe. The cinnamon is used for the rim mixture to prevent the sugar from being overpoweringly sweet. You can also add a pinch of salt to balance out these flavors.

Much like the rest of this recipe, lining the rim of our margaritas is so simple. First, choose your cocktail glasses. I like to use rocks glass, and there are plenty of cute options out there! Add a quarter cup of brown sugar and a tablespoon of cinnamon to a plate. Use a fork to combine the two. Then, run a sliced lime along the rim of two cocktail glasses. Flip the glasses over and press them into the plate with the sugar combination. Make sure that both the inside and outside of the glass rims are lined. Lightly shake off any excess, then flip the glasses over and set to the side.

Wide shot of two margaritas sitting on a decorated serving tray with a vase of wild flowers in the background. The two margaritas are perfectly dressed.

Why Apple Cider and Not Apple Juice?

Typical margarita recipes consists of lime juice, tequila, a sweetener, and triple sec. For this recipe, we’ll be using the homemade simple syrup and a bit of honey as our sweetener in place of agave. As for the triple sec, we’ll be swapping it out for apple cider. The apple cider will give the margarita that beautiful golden color, and add so much rich fall flavor to the drink.

So, why are we using apple cider instead of apple juice? Unlike apple juice, apple cider is unpasteurized and unfiltered, which makes it a fresher alternative. Furthermore, while apple juice is available year round, apple cider is a more seasonal drink and you may not be able to find it outside of the autumn months. Finally, apple juice is also, surprisingly, sweeter than apple cider. You can find more about the difference between the two here!

Close up shot of a perfectly placed apple margarita.

Shake It Up!

Now that we’ve covered the basics, it’s time for the main event… the cocktail ingredients. First, start by adding roughly a cup to three fourths cup ice to a cocktail shaker. The ice will keep the mixture cool while we mix it, but will not water the drink down. Next, pour four ounces of tequila of your choice into a cocktail shaker. This averages out to two ounces of tequila per drink; which, is the average amount.

Then, add five ounces of room temperature apple cider, three ounces of lime juice and just two ounces of the simple syrup. The simple syrup is very sweet and because the apple cider already has sugar in it, we don’t want to overpower the drink. The lime juice will help balance the sweetness with a touch of acidity. Plus, lime juice and tequila go hand in hand when making a margarita.

Finally, finish the margarita with a drizzle of honey. Honey is naturally sweet and because it’s not a processed sugar, it won’t push the cocktail over the edge. Instead, the honey will bring out the rich flavors of the cocktail. It also works beautifully with the apple cider! Add the top to the cocktail shaker and shake for thirty seconds to thoroughly combine the ingredients. Then, strain through a colander (so the ice is not in the glasses) and pour into the two prepared cocktail glasses.

Two fall margaritas sitting on a decorative tray with sprigs of rosemary and stars of anise sprinkled through the photo.
This margarita is made with tequila, apple cider, and a homemade simple syrup!

The Toppings

Like any good cocktail, the toppings take this recipe to the next level! Not only are they eye catching and elevate the appearance of the drink, but they also bring out those fall notes forward in the flavor profile. Here are a few of my favorite toppings to finish off my cocktail:

  • Apple Slice: A fresh apple slice is not only aesthetically pleasing but compliments the apple cider.
  • Cinnamon Stick: It wouldn’t be a fall cocktail without the addition of a cinnamon stick!
  • Rosemary Sprig: A touch of rosemary brings out the flavors of the homemade simple syrup.

If you really want to enhance this cocktail, smoke the rosemary sprig before adding it to the margarita. The hint of smoke will enhance the rich flavors of this Harvest Apple Fall Margarita. If you really want to take this margarita to the next level, add a star of anise! The flavor profile is so complex and, of course, it’s visionally stunning!

Quick Tip

While the toppings are gorgeous, they naturally are not edible- besides the apple. Luckily, I have a helpful sustainability tip on what to do with those leftover rosemary sprigs, cinnamons sticks, star of anise, and even the apple slices. Fill a pot with two to four cups of water. Add the leftover toppings to the pot with a dash of vanilla extract. Then, bring to a gentle simmer uncovered and take in the delicious smells of fall!

This homemade simmer pot is so easy to make and will fill your home with the cozy aroma of autumn. Just keep an eye on the pot and remember to keep it filled with water to prevent it from burning. As for what else you can put in a simmer pot, I like to add apple cores and orange slices too! It’s a great sustainable option to get the most out of your produce.

Wide shot of two margaritas sitting on a decorated serving tray with a vase of wild flowers in the background. The two margaritas are perfectly dressed.

How to Batch This Cocktail

Looking to make this Harvest Apple Fall Margarita into the drink of choice for your Halloween party or Thanksgiving gathering? Great choice and luckily, very easy to do quickly! I first like to start with estimating the number of servings I’ll need and making the simple syrup first. The simple syrup in the recipe card makes about four servings, so multiply accordingly. It also doesn’t hurt to have leftover simple syrup, just in case!

Then, I choose a pitcher that I want to serve and make the drinks in. You can add ice to it or just keep it refrigerated after batching the recipe. I then multiply the recipe below based on the number of people coming to the event. I also like to air on the side of caution and make more than I think I’ll need. This drink is quite delicious and guests will most likely want more than one serving! You can use this ounce to cup converter to help you out.

Pairings For This Fall Margarita

Given this margarita has a sweet taste, there are plenty of dishes to pair with that compliment each other! I would pair this margarita with some savory dishes to help compliment the sweet and savory themes going on. A slow cooker beef brisket slider would make a fun pairing to this drink! Or, to keep on the sweetness, a sweet potato gnocchi in a brown butter sage sauce would be phenomenal with this fall margarita! For a more neutral pairing, my gluten-free focaccia crust pizza recipe would do very well with these drinks as well. Last but not least, my potato and onion bake in mornay sauce would also serve as an excellent pairing with these sweet apple margaritas.

A Fall Harvest Apple Margarita

Recipe by Arianna LitrentaCourse: CocktailsDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


Cooking time



This margarita is made with tequila, apple cider, and a homemade simple syrup!


  • For the Simple Syrup
  • 1/2 cup water

  • 1/4 cup brown sugar

  • 5-7 rosemary sprigs

  • For the Rim
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar

  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon

  • Juice from one lime

  • For the Margarita
  • 4 oz. tequila

  • 5 oz. apple cider

  • 3 oz. lime juice

  • 2 oz. homemade simple syrup

  • 1 oz. honey

  • 1 cup ice

  • For the Toppings
  • Sliced apples

  • Cinnamon sticks

  • Rosemary sprigs


  • For the Simple Syrup
  • Add the water, brown sugar, and rosemary sprigs to a small saucepan
  • Stir over medium heat for 10 minutes until the sugar has dissolved
  • Allow the simple syrup to cool completely
  • Place a colander over a mason jar and pour the simple syrup in, then discard the rosemary sprigs
  • For the Rim
  • Combine the brown sugar and cinnamon on a small plate
  • Run a sliced lime along the rim of two cocktail glasses
  • Turn the glass upside down and press the sugar mixture onto the rim of each glass until lined
  • For the Margarita
  • In a cocktail shaker combine the ice, tequila, apple cider, lime juice, homemade simple syrup, and honey
  • Shake for 30 seconds, then strain through colander into the prepared glasses
  • For the Toppings
  • Finish the cocktails with a slice of an apple, one cinnamon stick, and a sprig of rosemary

Recipe Video


  • Refrigerate up to four days


  1. These sound dreamy and perfect for a cold fall night. I cannot wait to try this recipe!

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