Apple season is not far from ripe and ready.

I can’t wait to see the new drinks and dishes I will find this season!

When I think of what I often see available for apple-cocktails, I notice that around Fall we find a variety of cocktails inspired by chilly nights by the fireside and cozy bars in winter weather. Cider becomes the base for many concoctions infused with cinnamon and other pie seasonings. I also find brandy, whiskey, and bourbon based drinks like apple old-fashioneds, and hot toddies.

Outside of the cold season, apple drinks are often reduced to the most commonly seen neon-green-tini, maybe an apple sangria, and perhaps a gingery apple mule. It’s not often that I come across unusual apple pairings aside from the winter pie themes, and warming sweet boozy sippers. Which I do enjoy btw.

I wanted to create something that went away from the norm and embraced a different flavor profile that could be enjoyed all year. It was important that I could envision this cocktail served by the fireplace and the beach.

To accomplish this goal I summoned the help of flowers; hibiscus flowers to be exact; and some delicious locally-made, craft green-apple moonshine from White Dog Distillery.

Behold the Red Delicious Apple Tea-ni.


Start by making the tea. Let it steep for 30 mins. Cool for at least 2 hours.

Hibiscus Tea

6 Cups Water

¾ Cup Sugar

7 oz Dried Hibiscus Flowers

3 pinches Meyer Lemon Zest

To make the tea: Combine water, sugar, and hibiscus flowers in a pot. Bring to a gentle boil, turn off heat, and cover. Let steep for 30 - 45 minutes minutes. Remove cover, add lemon zest and let cool down to room temperature.

Once tea is room temp, strain into a covered carafe and cool in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours. Do not add ice to speed up chilling process.

Now Let’s Make a Cocktail!

To make the Red Delicious Apple Tea-ni, you will need:

  • 1 oz Dark Rum
  • 1.5 oz Green Apple Moonshine
  • 4 oz Hibiscus Tea
  • 1 Meyer Lemon
  • 1 Tbsp Sugar
  • 3 Dashes Orange bitters
  • Ice Cubes
  • 1 Apple (Optional Garnish)
  • Start by muddling sugar and 2 - 3 lemon wedges to create lemony sweet base.
  • Add the bitters, Rum and Moonshine.
  • Top with the Hibiscus Tea.
  • Add ice cubes and stir rigorously.
  • Strain into a glass and garnish.