Cinnamon Apple Cider Spritzer
Cinnamon Apple Cider Spritzer, a simple fall-inspired mocktail featuring apple cider vinegar spiced with cinnamon, anise, and cloves, and topped with sparkling water. Perfect for autumn and ready in less than 15 minutes!
Are you a sparkling water fan? Us too! We love to enjoy fruit-infused carbonated water, and this simple yet flavorful mocktail combines it with fall's freshest fruit flavor (apples!) and whole spices. It's a perfect low-maintenance drink recipe to serve when you have guests!
👉 Here are three reasons why you should make a spritzer mocktail with apple cider:
- It's quick. All it takes are a few easy steps and you'll be sipping on a delicious beverage in less than 15 minutes!
- It's delicious. The tart flavor of the apple cider vinegar complements perfectly with the maple syrup and warm spices in this recipe.
- You can prep it ahead. Simply infuse the apple cider vinegar up to five days ahead of time and store in the refrigerator until ready to build the spritzer.
Ready to learn how to make a homemade Apple Cider Spritzer? Let's do it!
💧 What is a spritzer?
A spritzer, sometimes referred to as a “spritz”, is a drink that contains a sparkling beverage and a combination of either alcohol and/or a fruit flavoring.
However, a spritzer does not have to contain alcohol and, in fact, this Apple Cider Spritzer is non-alcoholic (though you can add alcohol if you’d like, see my suggestion in the Tips and Tricks section below).
The final addition to a spritzer is fruit flavoring, which can include whole fruit, infused juice, or a simple fruit-infused syrup. For this drink we’re infusing our own apple cider vinegar and topping it with sparkling water.
🍎 Ingredients you'll need
This flavored sparkling water uses just a few simple ingredients, including the following:
- Apple cider vinegar: You'll infuse apple cider vinegar with maple syrup and spices before combining it with garnishes and sparkling water.
- Maple syrup: Enhances the natural sweet flavor of the beverage.
- Cinnamon sticks, star anise, and cloves: These spices are infused with apple cider vinegar during the first step, and added to the drink at the end along with two apple slices for garnish.
- Sparkling water: Plain sparkling water is key for a spritzer, as it allows the fruit and spice flavors to shine through. We like reducing packaging waste by using our Soda Stream for easy homemade sparkling water any time.
- Recommended tools: A small saucepan and a strainer are needed, and a mixology set is always a good tool if you make homemade drinks and cocktails often.
🥣 How to make (step-by-step photos)
1️⃣ Step One: Infuse apple cider vinegar with spices
Start by gently heating the vinegar in a small saucepan with the maple syrup, cinnamon sticks, star anise, and cloves.
Bring to a low simmer on low heat, about five minutes, then remove from heat and let cool.
Strain the liquid and keep the whole spices to use as a garnish
👉 Tip! Don't let the apple cider vinegar boil, or the vinegar will turn and will taste sour. Remove from heat just as it's starting to simmer, the point is not to actually heat the vinegar but to heat the maple syrup and spices so the flavors dissolve in the vinegar.
2️⃣ Step Two: Build the spritzer mocktail
Next, build the spritzer mocktail by filling a cocktail glass with ice, adding sparkling water, and then topping it with the cooled infused apple cider vinegar.
3️⃣ Step Three: Add garnishes
Finally, you’ll garnish the spritzer with a cinnamon stick, the star anise, and cloves, and a slice of apple. Perfect for fall and ready in less than 15 minutes!
❓ Recipe questions + quick tips
While this apple cider spritzer is made alcohol-free as a mocktail, you can add alcohol by replacing half the sparkling water with a sparkling wine like prosecco, champagne, or cava. Or make it a cocktail by adding 1 ounce of rum or bourbon.
Homemade flavored sparkling water can be made by mixing fruit juices, herbs, spices, and other flavorings into plain sparkling water.
Apple cider tastes great with warm, wintery flavors like sage, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, caramel, and maple syrup. It also pairs well with tart flavors like cranberry.
🧊 How to store
This fall-inspired spritzer recipe is easy to prep ahead and store, but there are a few things to keep in mind to maintain its quality and flavor.
- If making ahead of time, do not mix until ready to serve: Sparkling water loses its effervescence after it's opened, so we recommend preparing the apple cider vinegar infusion ahead of time and then mixing with sparkling water when you're ready to serve.
- Refrigerator storage: After cooling the infused apple cider vinegar to room temperature, store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Add to fresh sparkling water when ready to serve.
♻️ Sustainable kitchen tips
We're all about sustainability here at Fork in the Road, so here are our tips to get the most out of this recipe's ingredients.
Take advantage of apple season. The best time to make this recipe is when apples are at the peak of their growing season! That's during late summer and fall in California and most parts of the US. Find out when they are in season near you here.
Choose waste-free sparkling water. We love sparkling water, but hate buying cases of cans in cardboard boxes. Instead we opted for a SodaStream (affiliate link), which reduces packaging waste and lets us make our own sparkling water for when a bubbly craving starts.
Use responsibly-sourced ingredients. Buy fair trade spices whenever possible, which ensures that they came from farms and companies that aim to foster better working conditions for farm workers.
🍹 More spritzer recipes
Want more spritzer recipes? Check out our other fruit-infused sparkling water recipes.
Cinnamon Apple Cider Spritzer
- ½ cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 2 star anise
- 3 whole cloves
- 2 cups sparkling water
- 2 cups ice
- 2 slices apple
- To infuse apple cider vinegar: To a small saucepan add apple cider vinegar, maple syrup, cinnamon sticks, star anise, and cloves. Bring to a low simmer on low heat, about five minutes, then remove from heat and let cool. Strain out the whole spices and reserve to use as garnishes.
- To build drink: Fill cocktail glass with ice, add 1 cup sparkling water, then top with infused apple cider vinegar. Garnish with cinnamon stick, star anise, cloves, and sliced apple.
- Notes: Don't let the apple cider vinegar boil, or the vinegar will turn and will taste sour. Remove from heat just as it's starting to simmer, the point is not to actually heat the vinegar but to heat the maple syrup and spices so the flavors dissolve in the vinegar.
- Make it a cocktail: replace half of the sparkling water with a sparkling alcohol like prosecco or champagne, or add 1 ounce of of run or bourbon to the recipe
- Tools Needed: small saucepan, strainer, mixology stet
- Prep Ahead: Infuse the apple cider vinegar (step 1) up to five days ahead of time and store in the refrigerator until ready to build the spritzer.
- Leftovers and Storage: Do not make the Apple Cider Spritzer first and then store the leftovers or the sparkling water will lose its carbonation and your mocktail will taste flat. Instead, prep the infused apple cider vinegar ahead of time and then add to fresh sparkling water when ready to serve.
- Nutrition notes: This apple cider vinegar spritzer is a healthy fall mocktail recipe that uses fresh, whole spices for flavor and includes very little added sugar from the maple syrup to smooth the tang of the vinegar.
UPDATE: This recipe was originally posted in October 2019 and was updated for clarity in August 2021.