French Harvest Cocktail Recipe

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French Harvest Nutrition Facts





Alcohol content:15%

Created by

Nic Polotnianko

I fell in love with the art of mixology 6 years ago. Since then, I've honed my skills, crafting a myriad of cocktail recipes, and sharing my passion with other enthusiasts.

Last Updated: January 7, 2024


The French Harvest is a cocktail that embodies the essence of autumn in France. Its origins are not well-documented, but it's believed to have been inspired by the rich agricultural traditions and the celebration of the harvest season.

  • Inspiration: The cocktail is likely inspired by the French 'vendange', or grape harvest, a time of year when vineyards are bustling with activity and the air is filled with the promise of new wine.
  • Popularity: It's a favorite among those who appreciate a cocktail that's both refreshing and complex, with a nod to rustic elegance.
  • Occasions: Perfect for a cozy evening or a sophisticated dinner party, the French Harvest is versatile and appeals to a wide audience.

How French Harvest Tastes?

The French Harvest cocktail offers a harmonious blend of sweet and tart flavors, with a robust body and a smooth finish. The apple brandy base provides a warm, fruity undertone, while the herbal notes of thyme and the tartness of lemon add complexity.

Interesting facts about French Harvest

  • The French Harvest is often garnished with a sprig of thyme, which not only adds to the aesthetic but also infuses a subtle aroma.
  • Apple brandy, such as Calvados, is a key ingredient, reflecting the apple harvest in France.
  • This cocktail is sometimes served in a wine glass to pay homage to the French wine culture.


Apple Brandy

Containing sweet, fruity flavors reminiscent of a crisp autumn orchard, 1.5oz of apple brandy gives this cocktail its signature base. Less might leave your taste buds wanting more of that orchard taste, and more could turn the drink into a boozy apple bonanza. If you decide to go rogue and swap it with pear brandy, expect a softer, gentler fruit profile.

Alex Green

Lemon Juice

With 0.5oz of the citrus zing, lemon juice brings balance by adding a touch of acidity to combat the sweetness of the brandy and syrup. Losing this could make the drink overly sweet, like an apple dipped in syrup—and not in a good way. Fancy a twist? Orange juice could round off the edges with a sweeter citrus note.

Emma Rose

Simple Syrup

A sweet symphony to the ears of your tongue, 0.5oz of simple syrup harmonizes the fruit and acid. Too much could lead to a cloying cacophony, while too little might leave the drink astringently bleating for balance. Agave nectar could step in as an alternative, bestowing a more exotic, nuanced sweetness.

Mary Mitkina


The unsung hero—1 sprig of thyme infuses earthy and subtle mint notes, adding a sophisticated layer of flavor. Without it, you'd miss the herbal encore that makes the French Harvest sing. Rosemary could step in for an aromatic switch-up, adding a piney depth to your cocktail's chorus.

Alex Green

Ice Cubes

Bringing their A-game in temperature control, ice cubes are crucial for chilling the liquid serenade. No ice? Prepare for a lukewarm reception, both from the drink and your guests. Crushed ice can be used for a quicker chill and a different textural experience.

Emma Rose

Recipe. How to make French Harvest Drink

  1. Chill your cocktail glass.
  2. Combine 1.5 oz of apple brandy, 0.5 oz of lemon juice, and 0.5 oz of simple syrup in a shaker.
  3. Add a sprig of thyme and ice cubes.
  4. Shake well until the mixture is chilled.
  5. Strain into the chilled glass.
  6. Garnish with a fresh sprig of thyme.
  7. Serve immediately and enjoy.

Pro Tips

  • Ice: Use large ice cubes in the shaker to chill the cocktail without diluting it too quickly.
  • Thyme: Slap the thyme sprig between your hands before garnishing to release its essential oils.
  • Balance: Adjust the sweetness by adding more or less simple syrup according to your taste.

Perfect Pairings


  • Cheese Platter: A selection of creamy and semi-hard cheeses, notably Brie and Gouda, complements the fruity notes of the apple brandy.
  • Savory Pies: Mini savory pies with pear or apple fillings create a delectable sweet and savory balance against the tartness of the lemon.

Main Courses

  • Roasted Pork: The flavors of apple and thyme in the cocktail pair perfectly with a succulent roasted pork loin.
  • Grilled Chicken: The char of grilled chicken and the herbal notes blend well with the thyme accent in the French Harvest.


  • Apple Tart: The apple brandy's sweetness is enhanced when paired with apple-based desserts like a classic apple tart.
  • Lemon Sorbet: The sorbet's icy zest matches the refreshing tang of the French Harvest's lemon juice.

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What you could change in French Harvest

  • Apple Brandy: If Calvados is not available, you can use any good quality apple brandy.
  • Simple Syrup: Honey syrup can be a delightful alternative for a deeper flavor.
  • Thyme: Rosemary can be used for a different herbal note.

Explore all drinks starting with F here

And of course - twists🍹

Smoky Orchard

Ingredients: Substitute apple brandy for smoky whiskey, add a dash of maple syrup. Recipe: Replace the apple brandy with smoky whiskey and add a dash of maple syrup along with the other ingredients. Shake and serve as usual. Description: This twist transports you to a bonfire amidst the apple trees, with a smoky profile from the whiskey and a hint of autumnal maple sweetness.

Herbs and Honey

Ingredients: Use honey syrup instead of simple syrup, and add a dash of lavender bitters. Recipe: Mix honey syrup and a dash of lavender bitters with the original ingredients. Shake and serve with a lavender garnish. Description: The elegance of honey and herbaceous flair of lavender will create a more complex, floral cocktail for a sophisticated palate.

Citrus Harvest

Ingredients: Replace lemon juice with a mix of grapefruit and orange juice. Recipe: Use equal parts grapefruit and orange juice in place of lemon juice. Combine with the other ingredients, shake, and serve. Description: Citrus lovers rejoice! This variant offers a broader citrus profile, introducing a bittersweet dance with the apple brandy.

In case you forgot basics how to make French Harvest

The basic composition of simple syrup is relatively straightforward – a 1:1 ratio of sugar and water. This mixture is heated until the sugar dissolves, resulting in a clear, sweet syrup.

Learn everything about simple syrup

Add your ingredients to the shaker first, then ice. Fill it up to ¾ of its capacity to ensure enough space for shaking. Hold the shaker with both hands (one on the top and one on the bottom) and shake vigorously. The shake should come from your shoulders, not your wrists.

Learn everything on how to shake

Place your chosen strainer on top of the shaker or mixing glass, ensuring a secure fit. Pour the cocktail into a glass through the strainer, which will catch solid ingredients and ice. If double straining, hold the fine mesh strainer between the shaker and the glass.

Learn everything on how to strain

Garnishing a bar drink depends on the type of garnish and the cocktail. Generally, it involves preparing the garnish (like cutting a citrus wheel or picking a sprig of mint), and then adding it to the drink in a visually appealing way (like perching it on the rim or floating it on top).

Learn everything on garnishing

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Frequently Asked Questions on French Harvest

What type of glass is best suited for serving the French Harvest cocktail?

A vintage crystal wine glass or a coupe glass is typically used to enhance the elegant presentation of the French Harvest cocktail.

Can I make a large batch of the French Harvest for a party?

Yes, you can scale up the recipe to accommodate the number of guests. Make sure to keep the proportions the same and add the thyme sprig individually to each glass.

Is French Harvest a seasonal cocktail?

While it's inspired by the autumn harvest in France, its refreshing taste makes it suitable for enjoyment year-round.

How can I make a non-alcoholic version of the French Harvest?

For a non-alcoholic take, substitute the apple brandy with apple cider or a non-alcoholic apple spirit.

What food pairings complement the French Harvest cocktail?

The French Harvest pairs well with charcuterie, cheese platters, or apple-based desserts that echo its fruit and herbal notes.

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