Cinnamon Apple Cider Manhattan

Cinnamon Apple Cider Manhattan, Steph Rufa Photography

Cinnamon Apple Cider Manhattan.  Doesn’t that sound delicious?

I’ve spent some time this fall playing around with seasonal flavors, namely apples, apple cider and cinnamon. No nutmeg or pumpkin here, thanks anyway. I wanted to create drinks that I would crave in the fall; that would remind me of the season; that would be simple and really delicious. Today’s featured cocktail is a twist on the traditional manhattan. And it’s a risk considering how purists feel about their manhattans, but this one is worth trying if you’re willing to loosen the reigns. My Cinnamon Apple Cider Manhattan is, at its heart, a manhattan because of the whiskey base, but its different, in a good way.

A manhattan is made from whiskey (usually rye but can be bourbon), sweet vermouth, bitters and a lemon twist or cherry. It has a complex flavor: smoky, woody, a bit sweet. My version is lighter because I use Jameson Irish Whiskey (it’s very smooth) and cinnamon apple cider simple syrup instead of the sweet vermouth. There’s no lack of flavor though, the apple and cinnamon complement the Irish whiskey and would work well with rye and bourbon, too, if you prefer Jack Daniels, Makers Mark or Bulleit for example.

Cinnamon Apple Cider Manhattan with Jameson

Ingredients for the manhattan:

  • 4oz Jameson
  • 1oz cinnamon apple cider simple syrup
  • lemon or cherry for garnish


  • Fill shaker with ice
  • Add Jameson and simple syrup
  • Stir with a long handled spoon to mix well and chill
  • Strain into an old style cocktail glass
  • Garnish with lemon wedge, lemon twist or a cherry

Cinnamon Apple Cider Manhattan, Steph Rufa Photography

To make the Cinnamon Apple Cider simple syrup:

Simple Syrup Ingredients

  • 1c sugar
  • 1c apple cider
  • 1/4t ground cinnamon

Cinnamon Apple Cider Manhattan, Steph Rufa Photography


  • Put sugar, cinnamon and apple cider in a pot
  • Bring to a boil
  • Reduce heat and let simmer for 5 minutes
  • Remove from heat and set aside to cool
  • the ratio for simple syrup is 1 to 1 sugar to water, so you can make a smaller batch if you want, leftover syrup can be stored in the fridge for 2 weeks

If manhattans aren’t your thing and maybe you’d like a martini version’go check out A Dish of Daily Life. Michelle’s going to have a Cinnamon Apple Cider martini on her blog in the next few days and you definitely don’t want to miss it.

As for the cinnamon apple cider simple syrup? I’ve used it in both drinks mentioned here (manhattan and martini), I’ve also used it in a hot toddy (recipe to come), and on the most amazing French toast and cinnamon toast, “Best we’ve ever had” according to my family. It’s very versatile; you could even mix it with ginger ale or sprite for a non-alcoholic sparkling beverage.

What would you use the syrup on? Are you going to try the manhattan or mix it up with something else? I’d love to hear what you do with it.

As always, please drink responsibly.

Cheers!, Cinnamon Apple Cider Manhattan, Steph Rufa Photography



  1. One of my husband’s grandparents favorite drinks was the Manhattan and your version sounds amazing. So we may need to try soon and toast them when we do. Thanks Stephanie for sharing 🙂

    • Thanks Janine! Let me know if you do try it. It’s definitely different from the traditional version but it’s so good, I might have to make one right now…my mouth is watering a bit lol.

  2. Purists can keep their Manhattan, I’ll take this version anyday! Absolutely delicious!!

  3. I’ve been wanting to embrace whiskey (that sounds odd, I know), but it feels “old man” to me. This, however, I could do. Thanks, Steph!

    • I’ve been trying to embrace whiskey, too. Jameson is a good “starter” I’ve got 2 other drinks with it I’m going to post, so stayed tuned! This one, with that syrup though, is really good.

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  5. This would be a perfect drink to serve at my holiday party!

  6. I’ve been wanting to get more into cocktails, this looks like a yummy recipe.

  7. Betsy Rubendall Barnes

    Such a great cocktail! I am going to have to give it try, love trying yummy new cocktail recipes. 🙂

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