The Shanahtini: A Rosh HaShanah Cocktail

Toast to a sweet new year! Entertain your Rosh HaShanah guests while enjoying the traditional holiday nosh of apples, honey, and pomegranate seeds in a new way. This festive cocktail was designed by Henry Lopez, proprietor of Lucey’s Lounge in Brooklyn, NY, and although the recipe requires a little extra effort, it pays off with a unique, flavorful creation. L’shanah tovahL’shanah tovah לְשָׁנָה טוֹבָה Literally, “for a good year.”  This is a customary greeting for Rosh HaShanah. Also, “shanah tovah.” 

2 Granny Smith apples
1 ½ oz vodka or gin
¾ oz Berentzen Apple Liqueur
½ oz strained lemon juice
Fee Brothers Rhubarb Bitters
12 oz honey
2 cinnamon sticks
1 tsp whole cloves
1 tsp whole allspice (not ground)
8 oz water
Pomegranate seeds

Prepare spiced honey syrup:

  1. Pour honey into a bowl or plastic container with a cover.
  2. Add cinnamon sticks, snapped in half. Add cloves and allspice, rubbing between the palms of your hands to break them up a bit.
  3. Boil 8 oz of water, then stir into honey and spice mixture. Let sit at room temperature until desired spice level is reached. Strain twice, and store the mixture in the refrigerator.

Prepare apple cubes:

  1. Peel, core, and cut one of the apples into ¾” to 1” cubes.
  2. Store immediately in water with a little lemon juice, which will keep it from oxidizing and turning brown.

Create the cocktail:

  1. In mixing glass or shaker, crush the apple cubes quickly with a muddler, extracting fresh apple juice.
  2. Add ¼ oz of the spiced honey syrup.
  3. Combine muddled apple cubes, spiced honey syrup, vodka or gin, apple liqueur, lemon juice, and a light dash of bitters in a shaker. Shake well.
  4. Double strain into a martini glass, either straight-up or over ice, separating all the pulp and chunks of apple out of the cocktail.
  5. Cut across the apple horizontally, creating a paper-thin, circular slice of the apple.
  6. If serving martini-style, float the apple slice and pomegranate seeds on the drink’s surface and sprinkle 3-5 pomegranate seeds on top of floating slice. If serving over ice, wedge apple slice between the glass and cubes, jutting out of the glass, and randomly sprinkle pomegranate seeds on top of the drink.


  • Berentzen Apple Liqueur is less sweet and higher in proof than other apple liqueurs. You can substitute any other apple liqueur, but if you do, reduce the amount used to ½ oz to avoid over-sweetening the cocktail.
  • Granny Smith apples give this cocktail a sweet and tart flavor, but you can substitute any other apple in a pinch.
  • Lopez recommends Fee Brothers Rhubarb Bitters but advises, “Less is more, so use only a light dash!”