This Apple Cider Bourbon Cocktail is the ultimate fall drink! It's perfect for the holidays or any night you want to make extra special! Made with warming spices, apple cider, and fresh lemon.
Why This Recipe Works
This cocktail is such an amazing mix of all the best fall flavors. There are warming spices, maple syrup, bourbon, and fresh lemon juice to brighten everything up. It's a delicious drink to add to your Thanksgiving or Christmas menu. I promise everyone will love it!
- It's simple and ready to drink in just a few minutes.
- You can sweeten it with maple syrup or make it sugar-free.
- It's really easy to turn it into a mocktail! The details are further in the post and in the recipe card.
The ingredient list is simple and actually pretty similar to my other fall favorite, the Spiced Rum Apple Cider Cocktail. There are six ingredients:
- Bourbon - I like Maker's Mark bourbon whiskey. It's relatively well priced. You don't have to buy the most expensive brand if you're not drinking it straight but I wouldn't go for the cheapest either, a nice middle ground is the best.
- Apple cider - Apple cider, NOT apple cider vinegar. I'm using unpasteurized apple cider I buy at out local farmer's market in Toronto with no additives. Always read labels when you're buying it at a store to see if it's pure or with added sugar. Apple juice isn't the same but it works if you can't get apple cider.
- Lemon juice - Use freshly squeezed lemon juice whenever possible, it makes a huge difference! It's always much better than the bottled stuff.
- Maple syrup - A sweetener is optional but I like a little sweetness and the taste of maple with the bourbon. I use extra dark maple syrup for stronger flavor.
- Orange bitters - This is another optional ingredient but I highly recommend it. It goes really well with all the other flavors and you can use it in so many cocktails. Orange bitters are great in a margarita!
- Spices - I used ground cinnamon and allspice. You can use only cinnamon but the allspice gives it a nice apple pie flavor. Use apple pie spice if desired.
Making this cocktail couldn't be easier! All you have to do is add all your ingredients into a cocktail shaker or a large mason jar with a handful of ice and vigorously shake for 10-15 seconds until it's very cool to touch.
Pour the cocktail into a glass (I used double old-fashioned) over ice and decorate with lemon and apple slices, or a cinnamon stick if you're feeling extra fancy!
You can top the drink with club soda if you want but I usually use a smaller glass and don't have any space. It's not very heavy on the alcohol content but adding club soda could water the drink down a bit more and make it easier to drink if needed.
Make it non-alcoholic
There are a lot of distilled non-alcoholic spirits on the market these days that are made of various botanicals and have different flavors to mimic real alcoholic spirits. You can see if there are any in your area or if you can buy any online. Seedlip and Sobri are the two I know we have available in Canada but I've never tried them.
- If you can't get any non-alcoholic spirits, you can simply leave out the bourbon and top up the drink with club soda. I like cranberry or orange-flavored for this drink.
Yes, totally! You can skip the bourbon and add club soda or you can add some non-alcoholic distilled spirit.
I recommend something fairly priced. Not too cheap, not too expensive. You don't need anything top shelf because you're not drinking it straight. I like Maker's Mark.
Whiskey is made with fermented grains and aged in barrels. Bourbon Whiskey is made with a mix of grains and corn but at least 51% has to be corn. Sweet corn gives bourbon its sweet flavor. If you want to learn more, check out this article that talks about the difference between the two spirits.
Bitters are usually made with an alcoholic spirit infused with different spices, fruits, herbs, roots, or barks. Always double check if your bitters contain alcohol or not if you need your cocktail to be 100% non-alcoholic.
More fall cocktails you'll enjoyPrint
This is the ultimate fall cocktail! Nothing says fall better than a nice drink with warming spices and apple cider.
- In a cocktail shaker, combine the bourbon, apple cider, lemon juice, maple syrup, cinnamon, allspice, and orange bitters if using. Add a handful of ice and shake for 10-15 seconds until very cold to touch.
- Pour into a glass over ice and garnish with an apple slice and lemon slice if desired.
- Top up with club soda if desired and enjoy!
A pitcher version: This recipe yields one serving but the cocktail can easily be made in a pitcher, just multiply the amounts by however many servings you need!
Storing: This drink is best made fresh right before serving. I don’t recommend storing it.
Non-alcoholic version: use a non-alcoholic distilled spirit or just leave out the bourbon and top up with club soda. I like cranberry or orange-flavored soda.
Keywords: apple cider, bourbon, cocktail