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Bottoms Up: Smoky Apple Margarita by The Salt Creek Grille

By Camryn Mercatanti

Goodbye August, hello September! With the seasons starting to shift, it’s time to switch flavor profiles from sweet, citrusy and fruity to crisp, spiced and smoky. At the Salt Creek Grille, the fall cocktail menu embodies the season as apple, pumpkin, cider and campfires ring throughout. On the restaurant’s fall drink menu, which is expected to begin at the end of September, the Smoky Apple Margarita will take center stage.


  • 1 lime
  • 2 tbsp. salt
  • 2 tbsp. sugar
  • 2 tbsp. cinnamon
  • 1 oz Mezcal
    • The Salt Creek Grille uses an artisanal Mezcal called Gracias a Dios.
  • ½ oz Cointreau
  • ½ oz lime juice
  • ½ oz true maple syrup
  • 2 oz apple cider
    • To keep it local, Delicious Orchards’ apple cider is used.
  • 1 red apple
  • 1 sprig rosemary


  • Combine the salt, sugar and cinnamon together on a small plate.
  • Cut the lime into wedges.
  • Take a lime wedge and glide it up one side of the glass.
  • Place the lime-juiced side of the glass down into the mixture. Roll slightly to coat.
  • Combine the Mezcal, Cointreau, lime juice, maple syrup and apple cider in a shaker with ice.
  • Shake the cocktail.
  • Pour the cocktail over ice in the coated glass.
  • Thinly slice the red apple for a garnish.
  • Take the sprig of rosemary and slightly torch it to create a smoky aspect.
  • Place and sprig of torched rosemary into the glass behind the apple slice.

All of the ingredients are purposely chosen as they each play a vital role in the overall fall journey this cocktail embarks. The earthy and smoky aroma from the torched rosemary sets the scene. The salt, sugar and cinnamon mixture creates a flavor similar to an apple danish’s crust before the inner workings come to light. The first flavor to appear is the sweetness from the maple syrup which is then followed shortly behind by the tartness of the apple cider. A hint of crispness from the Cointreau lingers before the lime juice creates a smooth path for the last flavor, the smoky Mezcal. The Smoky Apple Margarita is a quintessential cocktail to welcome fall.

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