While cognac may seem like a challenging cocktail recipe, calvados is even harder! Indeed, the French apple brandy from Normandy is often overlooked as it’s little understood. However, it’s a great ingredient for some unique concoctions!

In this guide, you will discover the top 10 best calvados cocktails to make at home:

  1. Corpse Reviver N°1
  2. Norman Negroni
  3. French Mojito
  4. Norman Mule
  5. Deauville Sidecar Royale
  6. Calvados Old Fashioned
  7. Calvados Tonic
  8. Expense Account
  9. Normandy Flower
  10. Honfleur Long

Simply use the links above to jump ahead or scroll down to read them all!

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1. Corpse Reviver N°1

Sidecar Cocktail

A classic pre-prohibition hangover cure from the late-19th century, the Corpse Reviver N°1 is best known for its cognac ingredient. However, it also features an equal portion of calvados.

You’ll need the following:

  • 30 ml (1 Oz) Cognac
  • 30 ml (1 Oz) Calvados
  • 15 ml (½ Oz) Sweet Vermouth
  • Orange Peel

Simply stir the ingredients with ice and strain them into a chilled cocktail glass. Finish by garnishing it with an orange peel or slice.

2. Norman Negroni

Negroni Cocktail

What’s interesting about the Norman negroni is that it’s inspired by the French Negroni, which itself is a take on the original. Using brandy instead of whisky can add character to the cocktail and calvados imparts a fruitier presence.

You’ll just need the following:

  • 30 ml (1 Oz) Calvados
  • 30 ml (1 Oz) Campari
  • 30 ml (1 Oz) Vermouth
  • Orange Peel

Combine the ingredients in a tumbler glass by gently stirring it with ice until well-chilled. Finish by garnishing with an orange peel.

3. French Mojito

Dark Mojito Cocktail

Consider using French brandy in a mojito rather than rum to produce additional depth. Calvados is an excellent option as it will offer a hint of tart fruitiness.

It requires the following ingredients:

  • 40 ml (1¼ Oz) Calvados
  • 20 ml (¾ Oz) Lime Juice
  • 2 Dashes Angostura Bitters
  • Ginger Beer (to taste)
  • 1 Tsp Brown Sugar
  • Fresh Mint

Line the base of a glass with mint and then add the calvados, lime juice, bitters, and sugars. Mash the ingredients until well mixed and top up with ice and ginger beer.

4. Norman MuleAlmafi Mule Limoncello Cocktail

Another variant of a popular cocktail, the Norman Mule consists of greater depth and complexity by using calvados.

It’s a simple cocktail and just needs these ingredients:

  • 45 ml (1½ Oz) Calvados
  • 120 ml (4 Oz) Ginger Beer
  • 2 Dashes Angostura Bitters
  • 1 Lime Wheel

Add the calvados and bitters to a tumbler glass and then top up with crushed ice and ginger beer to taste. Garnish with a lime wheel.

5. Deauville Sidecar Royale

The Sidecar was introduced in the 1920s at the Paris Ritz after a bartender was inspired by an eccentric Englishman. Rather than replace the cognac entirely with calvados, you can combine the two and modify the proportions to benefit from their unique flavours:

  • 20 ml (¾ Oz) Calvados
  • 15 ml (½ Oz) Cognac
  • 30 ml (1 Oz) Triple Sec / Cointreau
  • 20 ml (¾ Oz) Lemon Juice
  • Vanilla Sugar
  • 1 Orange Peel

Just shake the ingredients with ice, strain them into a well-chilled coupe glass, and add a orange twist for garnish. You can also use vanilla sugar to rim the glass beforehand.

6. Calvados Old Fashioned

Old Fashioned Cocktail

Although the Old Fashioned is best known with bourbon, it’s a surprisingly effective cocktail to showcase a variety of dark spirits. Calvados can really shine in this version of the classic Mad Men cocktail:

  • 60 ml (2 Oz) Calvados
  • 15 ml (½ Oz) Honey
  • 2 Dashes Angostura Bitters
  • Orange Peel

Dilute the honey in hot water to make it easier to mix and transfer to a tumbler glass with the calvados. Throw in two dashes of either orange or Angostura bitters.

Twist the orange peel over the surface to spray it with oils and then add ice to taste. We suggest just waiting until the ice cools the contents before taking your first sip.

7. Calvados Tonic

A refreshing variant of the classic G&T with a greater level of character, the Calvados Tonic is perfect for a hot summer’s evening. You’ll only need the following ingredients:

  • 40 ml (1¼ Oz) Calvados
  • 100 ml (3½ Oz) Tonic
  • Apple Wedge

Simply throw the calvados into a tall highball glass and top it up with tonic water and ice to taste. You can add an apple wedge as an alternative garnish.

8. Expense Account

Expense Account Rum & Calvados Cocktail

Who doesn’t want an expense account to make all your worries go away? This enticing cocktail combines rum and calvados to produce a harmonious and succulent experience. It’s also quite reminiscent of the classic Sazerac!

You’ll need the following ingredients:

  • 30 ml (1 Oz) Aged Rum
  • 15 ml (½ Oz) Calvados
  • 15 ml (½ Oz) Bénédictine
  • 1 Dash Absinthe
  • 1 Tsp Maple Syrup
  • 2 Dashes Orange Bitters

Throw in a dash of absinthe in a coupe glass and swirl it around until well-coated. Add the ice and set it aside.

Combine the remaining ingredients in a mixing glass and gently stir with ice until well-chilled. Toss out the ingredients of the coupe and strain the mixing glass into it. Garnish the result with an orange twist or a cherry.

9. Normandy Flower

A pleasantly refreshing calvados with a hint of elderflower, this is a great option for summer when unwinding in the garden.

You’ll just need the following:

  • 60 ml (2 Oz) Calvados
  • 120 ml (4 Oz) Tonic Water
  • 15 ml (½ Oz) St Germain Elderflower Liqueur
  • 10 ml (¼ Oz) Lemon Juice
  • Orange Peel

Mix the calvados, elderflower liqueur, and lemon juice at the bottom of a highball or Collins glass. Afterwards, top it up with the tonic water and ice. Twist the lemon peel over the glass so it sprays in the oils and then leave it as garnish.

10. Honfleur Long

Another sweet and syrupy, fruit-forward cocktail that’s perfect for a day out along the coast. Indeed, it’s no coincidence that this one is named after the picturesque town of Honfleur!

You’ll need the following:

  • 40 ml (1¼ Oz) Calvados
  • 20ml (¾ Oz) Amaretto
  • 20ml (¾ Oz) Liquorice Syrup
  • 10 ml (¼ Oz) Lime Juice
  • 40 ml (1¼ Oz) White Grape Juice

Shake all the ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice and then strain into a tall highball glass. Top it up with crushed ice and enjoy.

What Next?

Now that you have read about the best calvados cocktails, why don’t you check out some of our related spirit guides?

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