Why We Drank Hard Cider Instead of Beer or Whisky For Once

strongbow hard cider cocktails

We don’t typically drink hard cider. Usually we stick with beer, whisky, and the occasional bottle of cough syrup when there’s no booze in the cupboards. But at a recent press event in New York City — some might call it a soirée … but we certainly won’t — we got to taste test a handful of cocktails featuring Strongbow’s hard apple ciders: Red Berries, Ginger, Gold Apple, and Honey.

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At 5 percent ABV, each bottle is relatively low in calories — about 170-195 — but comes with a lot of sugar (Gold Apple and Ginger have 19 and 22 grams of sugar, respectively). Not great for your spare tire if you drink them on the regular, but compared to gassing beers with lots of carbs and mixing vodka with sugary soda, it’s about on par. And if you throw summer BBQs or have company over (read: women), they’re good to have on hand for variety.

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The standalone winners were Ginger and Honey, with Gold Apple taking the bronze. We’ll pass on Red Berries (unless we’re fresh out of cough syrup), although it was better when mixed in a mojito cocktail (see recipe below).

Oh, and a quick note regarding the Strongbow cider cocktails — they’re super easy to make. In other words, you don’t need a MA in mixology to whip them up. Is an MA in mixology a real thing? Probably, which demonstrates just how sad our world has become. Actually, now that we think about it, we need a drink …


• ½ bottle Strongbow Hard Gold Apple Cider
• 2 ounces silver tequila
• 1 ounce lemon juice
• 1 ounce honey syrup
• Pinch of cayenne pepper
• Ice

Shake/stir tequila, lemon juice, honey syrup, cayenne pepper and ice. Top with Strongbow Gold Apple Cider.

• ½ bottle Strongbow Hard Honey Cider
• 2 ounces preferred whisky
• 1 ounce lemon juice
• 2 slices of fresh peaches or 2 ounces of peach juice
• Ice

Shake/stir whisky, lemon juice, peaches and ice. Top with Strongbow Hard Honey Cider.

• ½ bottle Strongbow Hard Ginger Cider
• 2 ounces preferred bourbon
• 1 ounce lemon juice
• 1 ounce maple syrup
• Fresh sliced ginger
• Ice

Shake/stir bourbon, lemon juice, maple syrup, ginger and ice. Top with Strongbow Hard Ginger Cider.

• ½ bottle Strongbow Hard Red Berries Cider
• 2 ounces pear vodka
• 1 sliced fresh strawberries
• 4-6 mint leaves
• 1 ounce lime juice
• Ice

Muddle mint leaves and strawberry. Shake/stir vodka, mint leaves and strawberries, lime juice and ice. Top with Strongbow Hard Red Berries Cider.