The margarita has always been my go-to summer drink, but this year I'm making it my fall drink, too, with five autumnal takes on the classic cocktail.
In this version, inspired by Cookie & Kate's Spiced Apple Margarita, I swapped some of the lime juice for apple cider—a quintessentially fall beverage—and kicked things up a notch with a healthy pinch of cayenne and cinnamon. The result is a sweet, spicy, and decidedly seasonal libation you might just like more than the original.
A few notes on making it at home: I prefer mine with reposado tequila, but it's just as good with blanco. In the ingredients list, I'm slightly conservative with the spice level, because your drink will get spicier the longer it sits. Like it really spicy? Add an extra pinch of cayenne, or consider adding a few pinches of cayenne and cinnamon sticks to your tequila the night before.
If you'd like a salt rim, combine the salt with one pinch each cayenne and cinnamon and pinch together with your fingers until it's a uniform color. Dump it out on a plate, and prepare an (empty) rocks glass by rubbing a lime wedge around the edge. Dip the wet glass rim in the salt mixture and rub it around until the rim is coated.
Fill your glass with ice.
Combine the tequila, apple cider, lime juice, agave nectar, and a pinch each cinnamon and cayenne in an ice-filled cocktail shaker. Shake vigorously for 10-15 seconds and double strain (pour though a mesh strainer) into your ice-filled glass. Garnish with a cinnamon stick or a strip of orange zest, if you like.
Erin Alexander is the Associate Editor at Food52, covering pop culture, travel, foods of the internet, and all things #sponsored. Formerly at Men’s Journal, Men’s Fitness, Us Weekly, and Hearst, she currently lives in New York City.