Geoffrey Zakarian makes his Havana Cider, as seen on The Kitchen, Season 32.
Recipe courtesy of Geoffrey Zakarian

Havana Cider

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 1 hr (includes cooling but not steeping time)
  • Active: 10 min
  • Yield: 1 serving
This cocktail is a cider-based take on a Dark 'n Stormy and really lets autumnal flavors come through. Ginger beer is a ramped-up ginger ale, and it’s such a better version because you really taste the ginger. Rum is a sweet and deep, caramel-colored alcohol, so you need some spritz or something to lighten it up. Ginger beer is a perfect effervescent, to make it refreshing and a real crowd pleaser.


Simple Syrup:

Vanilla-Spiced Rum:


  1. In a cocktail shaker, add the ginger, mint, cinnamon and simple syrup, then muddle. Add the rum, cider and some ice, preferably a very large cube, and shake. Fill a cup with ice cubes. Strain the cider into the cup and top with the ginger beer. Garnish with the lime and mint.

Simple Syrup:

Yield: 1 1/2 cups
  1. Combine the sugar and 1 cup water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Cook, stirring, until the sugar dissolves. Remove from the heat and let cool completely. Keep covered in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.

Vanilla-Spiced Rum:

Yield: One 750-milliliter bottle
  1. Add the vanilla bean and vanilla paste to the bottle of rum. Cover and let the rum steep for at least a day.

Cook’s Note

For the Vanilla-Spiced Rum, you can also use spent vanilla beans instead of a fresh bean.