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Written By cocktailflavors.com

Introduction to the Honeymoon Cocktail

The Honeymoon Cocktail is a vintage gem that has graced the lips of many over the decades. Its harmonious blend of apple brandy and herbal liqueur, complemented by a zesty citrus kick, makes it a timeless choice for celebrations. Let’s delve into the essence of this classic concoction and discover why it’s still a favorite today.

Originating from the early 20th century, the Honeymoon Cocktail captures the essence of romance and celebration. Its sweet and complex flavor profile is a testament to the era’s elegance and attention to detail in mixology. Whether you’re toasting to a new beginning or simply savoring the finer things in life, this cocktail is sure to enchant.

With each sip, you’ll experience a journey through history and taste. The Honeymoon Cocktail is not just a drink; it’s a narrative of love, tradition, and the art of cocktail crafting. Let’s raise a glass to the past and savor the sweetness of the present with this beloved classic.

Key Facts About the Honeymoon Cocktail

Alcohol Volume: Approximately 30% ABV
Calories: Approximately 180
Glass Type: Chilled cocktail glass
Garnish: Lemon twist

Interesting Facts about the Honeymoon Cocktail

The Honeymoon Cocktail’s name is a nod to the blissful and sweet beginnings of married life. Its ingredients are carefully chosen to reflect this joyous occasion. The use of apple brandy, particularly Calvados, adds a layer of depth and authenticity to the drink, connecting it to its historical roots.

Despite its simplicity, the Honeymoon Cocktail offers a complex flavor experience. The Benedictine, an herbal liqueur with a secret recipe, provides an air of mystery to the cocktail. This element of intrigue has kept the Honeymoon Cocktail a topic of conversation among connoisseurs for years.

Honeymoon Cocktail Preparation

Tasting Notes

The Honeymoon Cocktail is a symphony of flavors, with the apple brandy laying a warm, fruity foundation. The Benedictine introduces a whisper of herbs and spices, while the fresh lemon juice cuts through with a refreshing tang. The orange liqueur ties it all together with a subtle sweetness.

This cocktail is perfect for those who appreciate a drink with history and complexity. It’s suited for intimate gatherings, celebratory toasts, or a quiet evening reflecting on life’s sweet moments. The Honeymoon Cocktail is versatile, fitting seamlessly into any occasion that calls for a touch of elegance.

Whether you’re a seasoned cocktail aficionado or a curious newcomer, the Honeymoon Cocktail’s balanced blend of flavors is sure to please. Its vintage charm and delightful taste make it a standout choice for any event.

History of the Honeymoon Cocktail

The Honeymoon Cocktail’s origins can be traced back to the early 1900s, a golden age for cocktail innovation. It was during this time that bartenders began experimenting with the wide array of spirits and liqueurs available, crafting drinks that were as much a work of art as they were a beverage.

One such creation was the Honeymoon Cocktail, which quickly gained popularity for its unique flavor and romantic connotations. The drink became a staple in upscale bars and was often served at weddings and celebrations, cementing its association with love and happiness.

Over the years, the Honeymoon Cocktail has maintained its status as a beloved classic. Its enduring appeal lies in its ability to transport drinkers to a bygone era of sophistication and charm. Each ingredient tells a story, contributing to the cocktail’s rich history and timeless allure.

Honeymoon Cocktail Ingredients

Each ingredient in the Honeymoon Cocktail plays a pivotal role in creating its signature taste:

  • Apple Brandy (2 oz / 60 ml): Provides a robust, fruity base that anchors the cocktail.
  • Benedictine (1/2 oz / 15 ml): Adds a complex, herbal sweetness that enriches the flavor profile.
  • Fresh Lemon Juice (1/2 oz / 15 ml): Offers a bright, acidic contrast to the sweetness of the other components.
  • Orange Liqueur (1/4 oz / 7 ml): Introduces a citrusy sweetness that balances the drink.
  • Ice Cubes: Chills the cocktail, enhancing its crispness and flavor.
  • Lemon Twist: Serves as a fragrant garnish that adds a final touch of citrus aroma.

Did you know?

“The Honeymoon Cocktail is often associated with the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, a place known for its luxurious atmosphere and top-notch mixology.”

Honeymoon Cocktail Ingredients

Honeymoon Cocktail Method

The method of preparing the Honeymoon Cocktail is as important as the ingredients themselves:

Chilling the Glass

Start by placing your cocktail glass in the freezer to chill. A cold glass will keep your cocktail at the perfect temperature from the first sip to the last.

Combining the Ingredients

Fill a cocktail shaker with ice cubes to the brim. This will ensure your cocktail is thoroughly chilled and diluted just right. Pour in the apple brandy, Benedictine, fresh lemon juice, and orange liqueur over the ice.

The Shake

Seal your shaker and shake vigorously for 15-20 seconds. You’re looking for the shaker to become frosty on the outside, indicating the contents are well-chilled.


Using a strainer, pour the mixture into your chilled cocktail glass. This step ensures a smooth, ice-free drink.


Express a lemon twist over the cocktail to release its oils, then drop it into the glass as a garnish. This final flourish adds both visual appeal and a zesty fragrance.

Serving Suggestion

The Honeymoon Cocktail is traditionally served in a chilled cocktail glass. The wide brim allows the aromas to reach the nose, enhancing the tasting experience. The stem also keeps the drink cool by preventing warmth from your hand from transferring to the glass.

For garnish, a lemon twist is not only decorative but also functional. Twisting the lemon peel over the drink expresses essential oils, adding a bright, citrusy aroma that complements the cocktail’s flavors.

Elevating the Honeymoon Cocktail

To elevate the Honeymoon Cocktail, consider these professional tips:

Use High-Quality Spirits

Selecting premium apple brandy and orange liqueur can significantly enhance the drink’s depth and character.

Proper Dilution

Shaking the cocktail with plenty of ice ensures proper dilution, which is crucial for achieving the right balance of flavors.

Fresh Ingredients

Always use fresh lemon juice rather than bottled for a brighter, more authentic taste.

Elevated Honeymoon Cocktail

Substitutions and Alternatives for the Honeymoon Cocktail

If you’re missing an ingredient or looking to experiment, consider these substitutions:

For apple brandy, a good quality applejack can serve as a substitute, offering a similar fruity base. If Benedictine is unavailable, try a different herbal liqueur like Chartreuse for a twist on the classic flavor. In place of orange liqueur, a dash of simple syrup and a bit more lemon juice can provide a similar sweet and sour balance.

Similar cocktails that share the Honeymoon’s spirit include the Sidecar and the Corpse Reviver #2. Both feature a citrus-forward profile with a complex, herbal undertone.

Add a Twist

Here are a few ways to put a new spin on the Honeymoon Cocktail:

Herbal Infusions

Infuse your apple brandy with herbs like thyme or rosemary for an aromatic twist.

Seasonal Fruit

Muddle seasonal fruits like berries or peaches in the shaker before adding the other ingredients for a fresh, fruity variation.

Spice It Up

Add a dash of cinnamon or nutmeg to the shaker for a warm, spiced version perfect for cooler months.

Preferred Liquors for the Honeymoon Cocktail

For the Honeymoon Cocktail, Calvados is the traditional choice for apple brandy, offering a rich, authentic flavor. Benedictine is irreplaceable for its unique herbal profile. When it comes to orange liqueur, Cointreau or Grand Marnier provide a luxurious sweetness and depth.

Similar Cocktails to the Honeymoon Cocktail

If you enjoy the Honeymoon Cocktail, you might also like:

  • The Sidecar: A classic cocktail with a similar citrus and spirit-forward profile.
  • The French 75: Combines gin and champagne for a bubbly twist with a citrus kick.
  • The Old Fashioned: A whiskey-based cocktail that, like the Honeymoon, is steeped in history and complexity.

Food Pairings to go with the Honeymoon Cocktail

The Honeymoon Cocktail pairs beautifully with a variety of foods:

Classic pairings include canapés and charcuterie, which complement the cocktail’s rich and herbal notes. For a more adventurous pairing, try spicy Asian dishes; the sweetness of the cocktail balances the heat. Lastly, fruit-based desserts like apple tart can echo the apple brandy’s flavors for a harmonious finish to a meal.

Honeymoon Cocktail FAQs

Here are some common questions about the Honeymoon Cocktail:

Can I use regular brandy instead of apple brandy?

While you can use regular brandy, apple brandy provides a distinct flavor that is central to the cocktail’s character.

Is there a non-alcoholic version of the Honeymoon Cocktail?

Yes, you can create a mocktail version by substituting the spirits with apple juice and non-alcoholic herbal syrup.

How can I make the Honeymoon Cocktail if I don’t have a cocktail shaker?

You can stir the ingredients with ice in a mixing glass and strain into your cocktail glass, though shaking is preferred for the right texture.

What’s the best time of year to enjoy a Honeymoon Cocktail?

The Honeymoon Cocktail is versatile and can be enjoyed year-round, though its warming qualities make it especially suitable for fall and winter.

Can I batch prepare the Honeymoon Cocktail for a party?

Yes, you can mix a larger quantity in advance and store it in the refrigerator. Just shake with ice and serve when ready.


Honeymoon Cocktail

A classic cocktail dating back to the early 20th century, the Honeymoon Cocktail is a delightful concoction perfect for celebrating special occasions. With its rich blend of apple brandy, Benedictine, and citrus, it is a drink that truly embodies the sweetness and joy of a honeymoon period.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
0 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Course Cocktail
Cuisine International
Servings 1 cocktail
Calories 180 kcal


  • Cocktail shaker
  • Strainer
  • chilled cocktail glass


  • 2 oz Apple Brandy
  • 1/2 oz Benedictine
  • 1/2 oz Fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 oz Orange liqueur (such as Cointreau or triple sec)
  • Ice cubes
  • Lemon twist for garnish


  • Fill a cocktail shaker with ice cubes.
  • Pour in the apple brandy, Benedictine, fresh lemon juice, and orange liqueur.
  • Shake well until the outside of the shaker feels cold, about 15-20 seconds.
  • Strain the mixture into a chilled cocktail glass.
  • Garnish with a lemon twist.


While the Honeymoon Cocktail can be made with any apple brandy, using Calvados will give it a more traditional and authentic flavor profile.
Keyword Apple Brandy, Benedictine, Celebration Drink, Citrus, Classic Cocktail, Honeymoon Cocktail, Sweet Cocktails, Vintage Spirits

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