This apple cider margarita recipe will impress everyone! It’s tangy and balanced, with a cinnamon sugar rim.

Apple cider margarita

Once apple cider season rolls around, there’s one cocktail you absolutely must make with it. This Apple Cider Margarita! It’s tangy and balanced: the zingy tequila and lime pairs beautifully with the sweet cider. Top it off with a cinnamon sugar rim, and every sip is a delight. Every margarita recipe we make is my favorite…until we make a new one. This one is ideal as a fall cocktail or winter drink: make the pitcher variation if you’re serving a crowd!

What’s in an apple cider margarita?

This apple cider margarita is a spin on the Classic Margarita, a simple classic cocktail from the 1930’s that’s stood the test of time. The ingredients in the classic? Tequila, lime juice, and orange liqueur (Triple Sec or Cointreau). This version stays true to the classic definition, simply adding in apple cider to the mix. Here’s what you’ll need for this apple cider margarita:

  • Tequila
  • Lime juice
  • Cointreau
  • Apple cider
  • Cinnamon and sugar, for the rim
Apple cider margarita

What type of apple cider to buy?

There are a few major types of apple cider you’ll find at the store that you can use in this margarita. Here’s a breakdown and what we prefer:

  • Unfiltered vs filtered: Apple cider is sold unfiltered, which has the pulp and sediment, and filtered, which is basically like apple juice. For the best flavor and color for this drink, choose unfiltered! But it works with filtered as well.
  • Pasteurized vs unpasteurized: Pasteurizing apple cider makes it more shelf stable. If it’s unpasteurized, it can turn into hard cider or apple cider vinegar over time, so you should drink it within 2 weeks. Unpasteurized cider has more risk of bacteria, so we recommend pasteurized.

How to make a cinnamon sugar rim

The best part of this apple cider margarita recipe? The cinnamon sugar rim! It gives a pop of sweetness to each sip, and a bit of texture on the edge of the glass. Here’s how to whip it up at home:

  • Use a lime wedge to wet the wedge of the glass. Cut a notch in it, then run it around the edge of the glass. You can do a thicker band, like you see in the photos.
  • Mix up a plate of cinnamon and sugar. You don’t even have to measure: any quantity will do.
  • Place the outer edge of the glass in the sugar and rotate. Make sure the outer edge is evenly coated (not the inside).

Voila! Take one sip, and this drink is deliciously balanced between tangy lime, zingy tequila and sweet cinnamon sugar.

Apple cider margarita

Make an apple cider margarita pitcher (8 servings)

Serving a crowd? The best way to serve an apple cider margarita is as a pitcher! That way, you can spend 5 minutes making 8 drinks instead of one. You can prepare all the glasses with cinnamon sugar rims, then pour the drink into each (approximate 2/3 cup liquid per glass, plus ice!). Here’s what to mix together:

  • 1 ½ cups tequila
  • 2 cups apple cider
  • ¾ cup Triple Sec or Cointreau
  • ¾ cup lime juice
  • 3 handfuls ice

Add these ingredients to a pitcher, mix, and enjoy! The ice quantity is important for the dilution that would occur in a cocktail shaker. Let us know what you think in the comments below!

More apple cider cocktails

Love apple cider? Make all these fall cocktails and apple cocktails that use cider:

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Apple cider margarita

Apple Cider Margarita

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 1 drink 1x


This apple cider margarita recipe will impress everyone! It’s tangy and balanced, with a cinnamon sugar rim.


  • 1 ½ ounces* tequila reposado or blanco
  • 2 ounces apple cider
  • ¾ ounce Triple Sec or Cointreau
  • ¾ ounce fresh lime juice
  • Cinnamon and sugar, for the rim
  • Ice, for serving (try clear ice!)
  • Star anise and cinnamon stick, for garnish (optional)


  1. Cut a notch in a lime wedge, then run the lime around the rim of a glass. Dip the edge of the rim into a plate of cinnamon and sugar.
  2. Single drink: Place all ingredients in a cocktail shaker and fill it with ice. Shake until cold. Strain the margarita into the glass with the sugar rim. Fill the glass with ice and serve.
  3. Pitcher (8 servings): Place 1 ½ cups tequila, 2 cups apple cider, ¾ cup Triple Sec or Cointreau, and ¾ cup lime juice in a pitcher. Add 3 handfuls ice and stir until cold. Prepare the glasses separately, then add 2/3 cup to each glass and garnish with ice.


*To convert to tablespoons, 1 ounce = 2 tablespoons

  • Category: Drink
  • Method: Shaken
  • Cuisine: Cocktails
  • Diet: Vegan

Keywords: Apple cider margarita

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Meet Sonja and Alex Overhiser: Husband and wife. Expert home cooks. Authors of recipes you'll want to make again and again.

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  1. Hi! This looks delish. Can I use tequila blanco in place of reposado? I want to make a big batch for a party, and want to make sure I get all the flavors right. Thanks!

    1. Yes! It will still be good. We enjoy the more complex flavor of the reposado with the cider but it’s not a huge difference.

  2. Can bottled lime juice be used or does it need to be fresh squeezed from limes? I plan to make multiple pitchers so a bottled lime juice seems easier.

    1. Hi! It won’t taste as good as the real thing. If you use bottled, start with maybe 3/4 of the juice and add to taste so it doesn’t overwhelm the other flavors.

  3. I am curious about an alternative for lime juice…making massive batches of this for a retail event, like 5 gallons…the little bottles of ‘real lime’ juice just isn’t going to cut it. Do you have any suggestion for an alternative on that scale? Was wondering about limeade concentrate…?