Once the weather gets cooler, it's time to break out the seasonal drinks. While pumpkin spice is the king of fall and winter, apple cider is another mainstay that enjoys its share of loyalists.
However, why not mix things up this year and try a variation on your traditional apple cider? For our money, nothing satisfies quite like an apple cider margarita, especially when it's non-alcoholic. This holiday season, why not put a new spin on a classic and make a batch of mocktails that will satisfy everyone at your next gathering?
If that sounds intriguing, we've whipped up a delectable recipe for an alcohol-free apple cider margarita that will knock your socks off. So put on your flannel and prepare your apple basket - let's mix!
A Brief History of the Margarita
Typically, margaritas are associated with tropical spirits and Mexican culture. So, while a margarita is delicious any time of year, this cocktail doesn't often appear on holiday menus. However, since we're changing the game with alcohol free tequila, we want to look at this beverage's history and how it became a mainstay of bars everywhere.
One of the fascinating things about the margarita cocktail is its many origin stories. Depending on where you're from or who you ask, one of many people have claimed this drink. However, while it's impossible to say for sure who actually "invented" the cocktail, it's safe to say that there was probably a lot of parallel thinking going on. But since all the origin stories stem from the 1930s and 40s, piracy and poaching could also be at play.
Here are some notable origin stories for the margarita:
- The Oldest Claim - According to Mexican folklore expert Sara Morales, the first person credited with creating the margarita was the owner of Bertha's Bar in Mexico, a woman named Dona Bertha. If this legend is true, it's likely that word of the drink spread and many other people reverse-engineered their own versions.
- The "Official" Claim - If you ask the folks at the Agua Caliente Racetrack in Tijuana who invented the Margarita, they'll tell you it was created there in the early 1930s. According to the story, a bartender named Danny Negrete perfected the recipe from a drink he made for his girlfriend while managing the Hotel Garci Crespo in Tehuacan. She loved salty cocktails, so the Margarita was a perfect present for her. Negrete started working at the racetrack in 1936, and the beverage was officially born.
- The Most Dubious Claim - This claim has multiple versions, so it's hard to say how much of it is true. In one version, an LA alcohol distributor named Vernon Underwood asked a bartender friend named Johnny Durlesser to craft a cocktail with the new spirit Jose Cuervo. Durlesser worked at the Tail 'O the Cock, and he was well-known in the industry. In another version, Underwood discovered the drink already being poured because the bar used so much tequila for it. Either way, Durlesser is technically the creator, while Underwood is the promoter.
Overall, no matter the real story, the margarita has become one of the quintessential cocktails for bars, restaurants, and taverns worldwide.
The Holiday Season is Alcohol-Free Margarita Season
These days, more people are enjoying non-alcoholic spirits, and Seir Hill is at the forefront of this new trend. One of our signature spirits is Durangold, a delicious tequila alternative that delivers all the taste with none of the regrets. Because tequila is well-known for producing hangovers and rough nights, Durangold allows individuals to enjoy their favorite cocktails without worry.
These benefits (along with a healthier ingredient list) make Durangold perfect for the holiday season. Whether you're observing something like Sober October or just want to have a stress-free holiday party, this alcohol alternative works for all occasions. You can also use our spirits for family celebrations like Thanksgiving or Christmas, especially if your relatives are trying to cut back this year.
What You'll Need to Make an Alcohol-Free Apple Cider Margarita
One of the best things about the margarita is that it's a cocktail that requires some level of pomp and circumstance. So while you can opt for a low-key version, why not go all out for the holiday season? After all, a tasty rim and an official margarita glass can make the experience even more memorable and enjoyable.
Here are the tools you'll need for this recipe:
- Salt Rim Container
- Margarita Glasses
- Stirring Spoon
- Knife for Cutting Limes
If you don't want to mess with all these fancy elements, you can use regular glasses and put your cinnamon-sugar rim on a plate and roll each glass along its edge.
The ingredients needed for this mocktail recipe include the following:
- 1 1/2 cups Durangold Tequila Alternative
- 2 Cups Fresh Apple Cider
- 3/4 Cup Triple Sec alternative
- 3/4 Cup Lime Juice
- Cinnamon and Sugar
With this mocktail being completely alcohol-free, you'll need to find an alternative for the triple sec. The company Monin makes a triple sec syrup that has the same flavor without the alcohol. But, if you want something less expensive, you can substitute orange oil or orange zest.
As far as the cinnamon and sugar rim, just mix equal parts of both ingredients. You can increase the amount of the one you prefer as necessary.
How to Make an Alcohol-Free Apple Cider Margarita
The trickiest part of this recipe is making the rim for each glass. You'll need to dip your finger (or a paper towel) in water and then run it along the edge of each glass. If you have an official salt rim container, you'll just dip each glass into your mixture and rotate it a few times.
If you don't have the proper container, a plate should also do the trick. However, if you want a thicker rim, you'll need to roll the edge of the glass on the plate instead of dipping it.
Once your glasses are ready, mix the other ingredients in a pitcher with about three cups of ice. Use a stirring spoon to ensure a smoother mixture and flavor balance. The freshness of your apple cider will affect the drink's taste, so keep that in mind. You can also use filtered or unfiltered cider for a more unique mouthfeel.
Alternatives for Making a Non-Alcoholic Apple Cider Margarita
While this recipe is delicious on its own, there are several ways to make it more unique, such as:
- Add Cinnamon Sticks and Orange Peels - If you add the orange peels, you may be able to remove the triple sec altogether for a non-alcoholic mocktail. Otherwise, cinnamon sticks can add an extra layer of sweetness, especially if you let them sit for several hours.
- Use a Margarita Mix - Another way to avoid alcoholic triple sec is to use a pre-made mixture. While these products have a more distinct taste, they can still blend well with apple cider. We recommend doing a taste test first, just to ensure you don't throw the flavors off-balance.
- Use Sparkling Apple Cider - Kick things up a notch using bubbly cider instead of plain. This change can deliver a much more unique experience, and your guests will surely ask for seconds and thirds. Best of all, since you're using non-alcoholic tequila, they can drink more without any adverse side effects.
You can also find more mocktails that use Durangold here.