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This Apple Martini (aka Appletini) recipe is a classic: bright green and sweet tart, with a flavor like liquid sour apple candy!

Apple martini, aka Appletini
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There’s nothing quite like the Apple Martini, aka Appletini, with its liquid sour candy flavor and 1990’s charm. Sure, it’s a little past its heyday: but isn’t it time for a revival? This sweet tart vodka martini is charming and hard to resist. Our spin on it adds a little sophistication with a hint of orange liqueur and fresh lemon juice to boost its Jolly Rancher flavor. This recipe just sweet enough so it’s perfectly sippable and refreshing.

A drink with a more natural apple flavor? Go to Apple Cider Martini!

What’s an Apple Martini, aka Appletini?

The Apple Martini, also called Appletini, is a cocktail made with vodka, sour apple schnapps, and simple syrup. It was invented in 1996 at Lola’s, a restaurant in LA. Owner Loren Dunsworth worked with bartender Adam Karsten to create a vodka martini using DeKupyer’s Sour Apple Pucker, newly released as part of its Pucker line of schnapps. What resulted was the “Adam’s Apple” Martini, and it became wildly popular, subsequently dropping the “Adam” part if its name.

Apparently, the Appletini was designed from the start to taste like everyone’s favorite sour apple candy. “We put this martini together and thought, it tastes pretty good, like an apple Jolly Rancher,” said Dunsworth in this interview.


Appletini ingredients

The original appletini was three ingredients: vodka, Sour Apple Pucker, and simple syrup. Since the Apple Martini was born, bartenders have been riffing on the concept to add more sophistication to the original recipe. Some add orange liqueur like Triple Sec or lemon juice to balance out the sweetness. Some recipes also use apple cider or apple juice instead of schnapps, but the classic Appletini uses sour apple schnapps.

The recipe below uses a hint of both to add balance and complexity. Here’s what’s in an Apple Martini:

  • Vodka
  • Sour apple schnapps (like Sour Apple Pucker or other)
  • Triple Sec
  • Lemon juice
  • Simple syrup

More about sour apple schnapps

Sour apple schnapps is a type of schnapps made by adding flavoring to a clear grain spirit. The first sour apple schnapps was called Sour Apple Pucker, introduced in 1996 by DeKuyper as part of their Puckers line. The Puckers line includes flavors like Watermelon, Grape, Island Punch, Strawberry, and Peach.

There are also other brands of sour apple schnapps. We used Mr. Stacks Sour Apple Schnapps, which claims to use all natural flavors. Sour apple schnapps tastes intensely sweet tart, with strong sour apple notes on the finish. Use it sparingly: a little goes a long way!

Apple Martini

How to make an Apple Martini or Appletini recipe

Once you’ve grabbed a bottle of sour apple schnapps, making an Apple Martini is a breeze! Here’s what to do:

  • Shake: Add all ingredients (see below) to a cocktail shaker. Add 1 handful of ice and shake until cold!
  • Strain & garnish: Strain into a martini glass. Garnish with a green apple slice if you like (this garnish was included in the original 1996 recipe!).

It’s a relatively low alcohol cocktail

Surprisingly, our Appletini recipe comes out with a relatively low alcohol content! Here’s why:

  • It has only 1 ounce vodka, compared to other drinks with up to 3 ounces hard alcohol. Vodka has an ABV (alcohol by volume) of 40%, similar to other hard alcohols like bourbon, tequila, and gin.
  • It has 2 ounces of low alcohol liqueurs. Both sour apple schnapps and Triple Sec are liqueurs with a low ABV of about 15%.

Substitutions in this recipe

Want to make some substitutions in your Apple Martini? Here are a few notes on swaps you can do:

  • Swap apple cider for sour apple schnapps: It makes it into an Apple Cider Martini.
  • Swap Cointreau for Triple Sec: Cointreau makes an even more sophisticated cocktail.

More apple cocktails

Love apple cocktails? Here are a few more that are perfect for using this tasty fruit:

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Apple martini appletini

Apple Martini (Appletini)

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5 from 2 reviews

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


This Apple Martini (aka Appletini) recipe is a classic: bright green and sweet tart, with a flavor like liquid sour apple candy!


  • 1 ounce sour apple schnapps (like Sour Apple Pucker or other brand)*
  • 1 ounce vodka
  • 1 ounce Triple Sec
  • ½ ounce fresh lemon juice
  • ½ ounce simple syrup
  • Green apple slice, for garnish (optional)


  1. Add the sour apple schnapps, vodka, Triple Sec, lemon juice, and simple syrup to a cocktail shaker. Add a handful of ice and shake until cold.
  2. Strain into a martini glass. Garnish with an apple slice if desired.


*The classic Appletini uses sour apple schnapps. You can substitute apple cider to make an Apple Cider Martini.

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

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes for memorable kitchen moments! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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  1. Matt C says:

    I added .5 oz of Apple Pucker and it was perfect

  2. Sonja Overhiser says:

    Let us know if you have any questions!