Happy weekend folks! I’m popping in on this sunny Sunday to share your new favourite drink – Apple Crumble Cider Punch. Yes, it is definitely as delicious as it sounds. I really wanted to make a pitcher cocktail with autumn vibes – think cider, spices and seasonal fruit. However because it’s served icy cold, you can enjoy this with friends at any time of year. It has the flavours of one of my favourite winter desserts – the classic apple crumble – but in boozy liquid form. Yes please!
The thing I love the most about pitcher cocktails is that they are so nice to share with friends. In fact, it was a favourite activity to catch up with the girls over several jugs of Rosé Sangria or Pimm’s at The Winery back in the day. There is really nothing better on a sunny afternoon.
If you’re entertaining at home, shared style pitcher or punch bowl drinks are so much easier than having to play bartender all night! Your guests can help themselves, and can be mostly put together in advance, which actually allows the flavours to meld together before you serve it and taste even more delicious.
This recipe is also super adaptable with ingredients and even the quantities. I really just winged the amounts of everything the first time I made this and it was perfect. You really can’t go wrong if you use flavours that you like and adjust everything to taste. Do you love bourbon? Double it, why not! If you like a sweeter drink, add a tablespoon of coconut sugar. Not a drinker? You could easily make this booze free with non-alcoholic cider. I’ve listed all the ingredients I used in my version, and also some ideas for substitutions below.
Here is what you’ll need to make Apple Crumble Cider Punch
Cider: The star of the show is the Apple Crumble Infused Cider from New Zealand brewer Zeffer. They sustainably produce delicious cider showcasing the best New Zealand ingredients. It tastes exactly like the name suggests – warming and semi-sweet made with locally grown apples, real vanilla beans and cinnamon sticks. I cannot wait to use this in a dessert, but in the meantime it’s absolutely perfect in this sangria. I found it at Dan Murphy’s but if it’s not available where you live, substitute your favourite alcoholic apple cider. If you’re more of a pear cider fan, that would be super delicious too. Definitely feel free to make a mocktail version with non-alcoholic cider if you don’t drink – I think it would also be phenomenal.
Spirits: I also added a little bourbon for a warming boozy kick. We all know that bourbon is delicious with apples. I think spiced rum, apple brandy or whiskey or even Pimm’s could also be fantastic. This recipe is really adaptable and forgiving, so you can add as much or as little of your chosen spirit as you like, or leave it out completely.
Spices: This punch has cinnamon sticks and star anise – the same kind of warming spices that you’d typically add to a hot mulled cider. If I have the time, I like to let it sit in the fridge for an hour or two before I add the ice and ginger beer to really get the flavour from these spices into the drink. I also added a couple of leaves from my pineapple sage plant. Have you ever smelled this delicious herb? It’s incredible and we love adding it to iced tea. If you don’t have this, you can certainly substitute with fresh mint or lemon balm leaves, or a sprig of rosemary or thyme.
Fruit: You’ve got to have apples, of course! I used a thinly sliced Pink Lady apple from our apple picking adventure in Bilpin (more on that soon!) I also chose pomegranate arils because they are in season right now and they look so beautiful in the drink. You could also use fresh or frozen cranberries, or maybe even raspberries or blackberries. Anything that will give you a nice colour contrast and goes well with apples should work. Some orange or lemon slices would be lovely as well.
Ginger Beer: I love topping up cocktails with Bundaberg ginger beer because I love the flavour and slight fizz. To me, it mellows out the strong flavour of the cider and bourbon perfectly. Other options you could try are ginger ale, soda water, kombucha, sparkling apple juice or prosecco.
And there you have it, my Apple Crumble Cider Punch is the perfect drink for your next get together with friends. I also made a little Reel on Instagram with the process of making this drink. As you can see, it’s really as simple as adding everything to a large jug and giving it a stir! We all absolutely loved sipping this around our first backyard bonfire of the season and I’m sure I’ll be making it again soon.
Related Post: Apple Pie Pimm’s
Apple Crumble Cider Punch
This Apple Crumble Cider Punch has the flavours of the classic apple crumble, but in cocktail form! This Pitcher cocktail has winter vibes – think cider, spices and seasonal fruit. However because it’s served icy cold, you can enjoy this with friends at any time of year.
- 1 apple, cored and thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup pomegranate arils
- 1 star anise
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 30-60 ml bourbon (I used Maker’s Mark)
- 2 x 330ml cans Zeffer Apple Crumble Infused Cider (or your favourite alcoholic cider)
- Ice cubes
- 4-8 leaves fresh pineapple sage or mint
- 750 ml Ginger beer, to top up (I used Bundaberg)
Add the sliced apple, pomegranate, star anise, cinnamon sticks, bourbon and apple cider to a large pitcher and stir to combine. If you have time, you can place in the fridge for up to 2 hours to allow the flavours to meld together.
When ready to serve, add the ice, herbs if using and then top up with the bottle of ginger beer. Stir once more and taste. You can add a little more bourbon if you like it stronger or stir in a tablespoon of brown or coconut sugar if you want a little more sweetness.