Apples to Oranges Citrus Cocktail

In this citrus cocktail from Monterey Bay Fish Grotto, Boyd & Blair vodka is the base and Melannurca apple liqueur and Red Ribbon Orange Soda are the theme. The combo is a delicious mixture of fruit and liquor. Comparing “apples to oranges” usually means two things are so different they can’t work together, but this cocktail has just the right balance. Took Third Place in Judge’s Choice in our cocktail shake-off!

Why Apples?

The “apples and oranges” saying is a well-trodden idiom. But do apples and oranges actually go together? Apple and citrus is actually a good flavor profile mixture, since the tartness of an apple complements the more subtle flavor of an orange. Using fruit liqueurs in mixology essentially taking the flavor out of the fruit without the mouthfeel, so it’s worth considering how the flavors interact with each other. The apple liqueur and the orange soda are better mixers together than if you were to combine apple liqueur and an orange liqueur like triple sec, since the alcohol would overtake the flavor. For seasoned bartenders like those at Monterey Bay, this is natural, but if you’re new to cocktail making, try out some different fruit liqueur and soda combinations to see what you like.


  • 1 ¾ oz Boyd & Blair vodka
  • ½ oz Melannurca apple liqueur
  • ¾ oz Red Ribbon Orange Soda
  • ¾ oz fresh lemon juice
  • 1 oz orange simple syrup


  1. Add ice to a shaker.
  2. Pour in vodka, apple liqueur, lemon juice and orange simple syrup.
  3. Shake until frost forms on the shaker.
  4. Strain and pour into a coupe and top with orange soda.

Other Citrus Cocktail Ideas

Recipe by Anthony Scaramacho, Laticia Ward, and James Schillinger / Story by Emma Riva / Photography by Dave Bryce 

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