Appletini (The Best Sour Apple Martini)

For a refreshing green cocktail that tastes and looks great, this appletini recipe is hard to beat. Whether you’re looking for a St. Patrick’s day drink, a tasty summer beverage or a Christmas party aperitif, this recipe is sure to please!

the best appletini recipe with green sugar around the rim of the glasses

An Appletini is a martini with apple flavoring that has been gaining in popularity.

And I think there’s a good reason why. It’s tasty!

The apples add some sweetness but because the flavoring is from Granny Smith apples (which are pretty tart), it isn’t too sweet.

There are quite a few different versions of this drink out there so I thought I’d test out a few variations to come up with the mix that I like the best.

If you don’t care to hear about my night of appletini testing, you can skip right to the part you want to read.

Notes From The Bar

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Before we begin I will say that I am not a martini “purist”.

Many people who are martini connoisseurs say martinis should only contain alcohol. Since I usually find them too strong that way, that’s not my philosophy.

The classic recipe

apple martini on a blue green background with a cocktail shaker

I started with the classic recipe as the basis for all of my tests which is:

  • 3 parts vodka
  • 2 parts green apple schnapps or apple liqueur (I used DeKuyper sour apple pucker)
  • 1 part lemon juice or sweet and sour mix (optional for the alcohol-only martini drinkers)

This recipe didn’t really fit what I had in mind for an apple martini for these reasons:

  • it didn’t taste very much like apples (the vodka was very apparent)
  • it wasn’t very green
  • the lemon juice makes the drink look a little cloudy. And I’m too lazy to make sweet and sour mix 🙂

The variations

So I tried swapping the measurements for the apple schnapps and the vodka which improved the taste but didn’t solve the color issue. And with less vodka than schnapps, I’m not sure it really qualifies as a martini. (But I did use it as the basis for my Appletini “easy on the tini” recipe that you can find below).

Then I tried adding 1 part Cointreau to the original recipe. But I found that the orange flavor overpowered the apple. Which kind of defeats the purpose of an appletini if you ask me 🙂

The same thing happened with the watermelon flavor when I added 1 part Midori.

Next I replaced the lemon juice with apple juice (I think apple cider would be good, too). Which was definitely on the right track. It helped with the apple flavor, but not with the color.

Finally, I used the recipe with the apple juice and added this granny smith apple syrup* (from Amazon).

And I love it!

The syrup adds the perfect color of green and a little more sour apple flavor which keeps the drink from being too sweet.

Of course, I couldn’t just stop there so I tried one more option with my final recipe. Which was to replace both the vodka and the sour apple pucker with green apple vodka. And that worked quite well, too.

So here’s the final version.

Appletini ingredients

appletini ingredients

This makes two apple martinis:

  • 3 ounce vodka – Since vodka makes up a majority of the drink, using a good quality one helps the taste (I’ve tried Absolut, Grey Goose and Ciroc).
  • 2 ounces sour apple schnapps or apple pucker – I use DeKuyper Sour Apple Pucker
  • 1 ounce apple juice or apple cider
  • 1 ounce granny smith apple syrup – you can find the brand I use HERE on Amazon.*
  • ice cubes

Substitution: You can also use apple flavored vodka (such as Smirnoff Green Apple). In this case, replace the vodka and the apple schnapps with 5 ounces of the flavored vodka. Add the rest of the ingredients as listed.

How to make the best appletini cocktail

Pour 3 ounces vodka, 2 ounces apple pucker, 1 ounce apple juice and 1 ounce granny smith apple syrup into a cocktail shaker.

Add a few ice cubes.

Shake until cold.

Strain into a martini glass.

Garnishes

Although these apple martinis look pretty all on their own, you can fancy them up a little more if you want to.

Rim the glass

sour apple martini in martini glasses rimmed with green sugar

The first option is to rim the glass with sugar. (In case it’s not obvious, this needs to be done before you pour the martinis).

To do this you’ll need:

Pour some Apple rimming sugar onto a small plate. (Plain white sugar will also work in a pinch).

Then slice a lemon or lime wedge. Cut a slit in the fruit side and run it around the top edge of the glass.

Or if you need to rim a lot of glasses, juice the lemon into a bowl that’s big enough for the top of the glass to fit in. Then dip the top of each glass into the juice.

Finally dip the top of the glass into the sugar.

Add an apple garnish

appletini garnished with a granny smith apple slice floating in the glass

The second option is to use granny smith apple slices as a garnish. (And if you like things a little “extra”, you can do both the rimming sugar and a garnish!)

There are a few different ways I like to do this:

  • Float a thin full apple slice in the drink. I sliced them across the middle of the fruit (rather than from top to bottom). That way you get the pretty star shape which comes from the apple core. Also, I always remove any seeds so they don’t accidentally end up in the drink.
Appletini mocktail garnished with 3 granny smith apple wedges on a cocktail pick
  • Cut the apple into thin wedges. I use this apple corer/slicer gadget (available on Amazon)* to make thick wedges. Then slice those wedges into thirds to make them thinner. Add 3 of the thin wedges to a cocktail pick and place it across the rim of the martini glass.
appletinis garnished with granny smith apple slices and wedges on the rim of the glass
  • Cut a slit in an apple wedge or slice and stick it on the edge of the glass.

To keep the apple slices from turning brown, coat them with lemon juice after you cut them.

Appletini easy on the tini

To make appletinis that are a little lighter on the alcohol, you can change the amount of apple pucker and vodka as follows (this makes 2 drinks):

Or if you prefer not to have any alcohol at all, stay tuned for our Appletini mocktail recipe.

Apple martini recipe for a crowd

If you’re making appletinis for a crowd, you can mix up a big batch of them ahead of time so you’re not spending your whole night mixing drinks.

This recipe makes almost 2 quarts of apple martinis, which is enough for about 16 servings.

Don’t add ice as it will water the martini down. Just make sure to store it in the refrigerator so it stays cold.

Combine the following ingredients in a large pitcher and stir well:

If you’re going to be adding garnishes, prepare them ahead of time so they’re ready to go. You can also rim the glasses with sugar in advance.

Other Cocktail Recipes You Might Like

appletini recipe

Appletini Recipe

Wanda Simone
For a cocktail that looks as good as it tastes, this appletini recipe can't be beat!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 5 mins
Total Time 5 mins
Course Drinks
Cuisine American
Servings 2 martinis

Equipment

  • cocktail shaker
  • jigger

Ingredients
  

  • 3 ounces vodka
  • 2 ounces apple schnapps or pucker
  • 1 ounce apple juice or apple cider
  • 1 ounce granny smith apple syrup I used Monin (find it on Amazon*)

Appletini "easy on the tini"

  • 4 ounces apple schnapps or pucker
  • 1 ounce vodka
  • 1 ounce apple juice
  • 1 ounce granny smith apple syrup I used Monin (find it on Amazon*)

Appletinis for a crowd

  • 3 cups vodka
  • 2 cups apple schnapps or apple pucker
  • 1 cup apple juice or apple cider
  • 1 cup granny smith apple syrup I used Monin (find it on Amazon*)

Instructions
 

  • Pour 3 ounces vodka, 2 ounces apple pucker, 1 ounce apple juice and 1 ounce granny smith apple syrup into a cocktail shaker.
  • Add a few cubes of ice.
  • Put the lid on the shaker and shake well.
  • Pour the mixture into martini glasses.

Appletini "easy on the tini"

  • Pour 1 ounce vodka, 2 ounces apple schnapps or apple pucker, 1 ounce apple juice and 1 ounce granny smith apple syrup into a cocktail shaker.
  • Add a few ice cubes.
  • Shake well and strain into martini glasses.

Appletinis for a crowd (makes about 16 servings)

  • Pour 3 cups vodka, 2 cups apple schnapps or apple pucker, 1 cup apple juice and 1 cup granny smith apple syrup into a large pitcher.
  • Stir well. Do NOT add ice.
  • Refrigerate until serving.

Notes

Substitutions
In all recipes, you can replace the vodka and apple schnapps with an equivalent amount of apple flavored vodka. 
To rim the glasses
  • Pour some Apple rimming sugar onto a small plate.
  • Slice a lemon or lime wedge. Cut a slit in the fruit side and run it around the top edge of the glass.
  • Or if you need to rim a lot of glasses, juice the lemon into a bowl that’s big enough for the top of the glass to fit in. Then dip the top of each glass into the juice.
  • Finally dip the top of the glass into the sugar.
  • Glasses can be rimmed with sugar a few hours in advance if you are serving for a crowd.
Garnishes
  • Juice a lemon into a small bowl.
  • Cut a granny smith apple into thin slices or wedges.
  • Dip the apples in the lemon juice. This will keep them from turning brown.
  • Then garnish the glass by:
    • floating an apple slice in the drink.
    • cutting a slit in the slice or wedge and sticking it on the rim of the glass.
    • putting 3 wedges on a cocktail pick and resting it on the edge of the glass.
  • For a party, garnishes can be prepared in advance and stored in the refrigerator until serving time.
 
 
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my favorite appletini recipe with apple slice garnish on the rim of the glasses

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