Now that fall has officially arrived, gone are the days of tart margaritas and sparkly berry drinks. It’s time for all things apple and spice and everything nice!
While I love a mulled cider, I don’t always want to turn on a stove for happy hour. Per usual, Trader Joe’s to the rescue. I love their sparkling apple cider (it reminds me of Martinelli’s), and decided it would be excellent in a cocktail. Then I grabbed their chai concentrate, and the rest is history.
I’ll be making this 3-ingredient cocktail all fall and winter long. It would also be an incredibly easy but impressive cocktail to make for Thanksgiving! Perfect for sipping while snacking on appetizers and putting the finishing touches on the big meal.
Why This Cocktail Works
The flavors in this drink are spot-on for a seasonal cocktail. The chai concentrate provides the spices and a mild bitterness thanks to the tea. You only need a quarter ounce since it’s a concentrate, leaving plenty left over for more cocktails and morning chai lattes.
The sparkling apple cider adds balanced fruity sweetness and refreshing bubbles. Both mixers pair perfectly with bourbon or rye, smoothing out the spirit’s edges for a crowd-pleasing drink. If you have a lemon handy, add a small squeeze. If you want to get fancy, stick a toothpick through a slice of Trader Joe’s candied ginger and balance it on top.
Everyone who’s tried this cocktail has sung its praises. I’ll be making it for Thanksgiving this year—it tastes time-consuming, but it couldn’t be quicker to make.
How To Make Trader Joe’s 3-Ingredient Spiced Apple Cocktail
To make one drink, you’ll need:
- 2 ounces bourbon or rye whiskey
- 1/2 ounce Spiced Chai Black Tea Concentrate
- 4 ounces Sparkling Apple Cider
- 1 small lemon wedge, optional
- 1 slice candied ginger, optional
Add the bourbon and chai concentrate to a glass and stir to combine. Add ice and top with the sparkling apple cider. If using, squeeze a small lemon wedge over the top and toss it in. Give the drink a single stir and garnish with a slice of candied ginger, if desired, before serving.
How to Batch This Cocktail
If you use an entire bottle of sparkling apple cider, this drink will serve six to eight. For a big party, pick up a few bottles. Here’s how to make one batch:
- A little over 1 1/2 cups bourbon or rye whiskey
- 3 1/4 ounces Spiced Chai Black Tea Concentrate
- 1 whole bottle Sparkling Apple Cider
- 6 to 8 lemon wedges, optional
- 6 to 8 slices candied ginger, optional
Combine the bourbon and chai concentrate in a pitcher and mix. Fill six to eight glasses with ice and divide the mixture evenly between them. Top each with sparkling apple cider. If using, top with the lemon wedges and garnish with the candied ginger.
Variations to Try
If you’re not crazy about bourbon or rye whiskey, you can swap the liquor for aged rum. It lends a bit more sweet spice to the drink.
For a non-bubbly option, swap the sparkling apple cider for 3 to 4 ounces of Trader Joe’s plain apple cider. This version is also delicious when served hot!