Apple Cider Cocktail

I’ve created a delicious autumnal cocktail that’s perfect for enjoying during the holiday season. It tastes of warm spices like cinnamon and ginger, but has a light and refreshing quality from the apple cider and lemon.

The ingredients are simple: you just mix apple cider, bourbon, lemon juice, and ginger beer. Garnishing with apple slices and herbs like thyme adds visual appeal. This cocktail is enjoyable on its own or mixed in a pitcher for a crowd.

Best of all, it’s easy to make no matter how many people you need to serve. The directions provide amounts for a single drink as well as a larger batch. So whether you’re looking for something festive to share or just wanting to cozy up by yourself, this spiced apple cider cocktail is sure to put you in the holiday spirit. Give it a try, I promise the combination of flavors will lift your mood!

How To Make An Apple Cider Cocktail?

How To Make An Apple Cider Cocktail?

This cocktail has a bright and refreshing flavor profile. While it will lighten up a winter evening, the flavors would also make it enjoyable in early fall or summer.

Given that there are only a few ingredients, it is important to choose each one carefully. When making cocktails with few components, the quality of each individual ingredient matters more. Be sure to select ingredients you enjoy.

The Ingredients

1.Bourbon: Select a brand that offers both sipping quality and value. Something like Bulleit, Maker’s Mark, Four Roses or Buffalo Trace fits the bill. These bourbons have enough flavor to drink straight but won’t break the bank mixed into a cocktail. They provide balanced sips whether on their own or as an ingredient. That’s why they make excellent base spirits for drinks like my Gold Rush Cocktail or this spiced apple cider mixture.

This recipe accepts alternative spirits: rum, various whiskeys, vodka or try blanco tequila for novelty.
Avoid gin as its herbal notes will overwhelm subtle apple cider blends.

2.Apple cider element: An organic unfiltered variety works best. These ciders have more vivid flavor despite being cloudy in appearance. Look for bottled, shelf-stable options in the juice aisle of most markets. Or make your own fresh cider using apples and following a recipe tailored for maximum taste. Either way, an unprocessed cider is key.

Should organic apple cider prove difficult to find, pure apple juice of good quality will suffice as a suitable substitute in this drink.

3.Ginger beer: It adds just the right balance of sweet and spicy flavors to this cocktail. Look for brands like Fever-Tree, which have a stronger ginger taste than soda but less carbonation. Their pure, zesty quality helps the apple cider really shine through.

4.Lemon juice: A squeeze of lemon juice enhances the flavors in the drink, providing tartness that balances the natural sugars and prevents the cocktail from becoming cloyingly sweet.

5.Orange liqueur: For an extra layer of complexity, opt to include an orange liqueur. Grand Marnier or Cointreau lend themselves well to this cocktail, providing an elegant sweet-citrus accent. Avoid triple sec as its sweetness can overwhelm the more delicate nature of this drink.

Ingredients With Measurements

Bourbon (recommended: Bulleit, Maker’s Mark, Buffalo Trace, or Four Roses) – This cocktail is also delicious with vodka or rum2 ounces
Apple cider (I prefer unfiltered)2 ounces
Lemon juice1/2 ounce
Ginger beer (recommended: Fever Tree)3 ounces
Optional: Orange liqueur (recommended: Grand Marnier or Cointreau; I do not recommend triple sec; it’s just too sweet)1/2 ounce
Garnish: Cinnamon stick, apple slice, sprig of thyme

Crafting The Cider Cocktail

  • Fill a glass with ice and combine the apple cider, spirits, lemon juice and orange liqueur (if using). Stir gently to combine.
  • Top with ginger beer and stir once more to integrate the carbonation into the mix.
  • Garnish with your preferred accompaniments such as apple slices or citrus wedges. Raise a toast and enjoy.

Time For Preparation 

Prep5 minutes
Cook0 minutes
Total5 minutes
Servings1 drink

Apple Cider Cocktail Storage Tips

Apple Cider Cocktail Storage Tips
  • For the best flavor, enjoy this cocktail freshly made.
  • The bourbon/cider/liqueur base can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 24 hours before serving.
  • When ready to serve, top individual portions with ginger beer, stirring briefly to incorporate. This preserves the bubbly effervescence until serving time.
Advance Planning Note: 
In a pitcher, combine the apple cider, spirits, lemon juice and orange liqueur. Refrigerate the mixture until ready to serve, up to 4 hours.
When ready to enjoy, pour the chilled base into glasses over fresh ice. Top with ginger beer and stir gently to combine.

Essential Equipments To Make Apple Cider Cocktail Recipe

  • A mixing pitcher – Perfect for combining all cocktail ingredients ahead of time for a crowd-sized batch.
  • Bar measures (jigger) – Ensures accurate pours of each liquid for perfectly balanced drinks.
  • Citrus press – Makes quick work of extracting fresh juice from lemons and limes.

Nutrition In Apple Cider Cocktail Recipe 

Nutrition In Apple Cider Cocktail Recipe 
Nutrition Information
Serving Size1 drink
Calories189 kcal
Saturated Fat1g
Vitamin C5mg

Frequently Asked Questions

Does gin go with cider?

Gin lends this cider cocktail a surprisingly refreshing twist that makes it perfect Thanksgiving drinking. Its subtle juniper aroma pairs surprisingly well with apple flavors. Mixing up a pitcher in advance allows guests to easily enjoy this festive libation as celebrations commence.

Is Apple Cider the Same as Apple Juice?

While cider and apple juice both come from apples, they are not interchangeable. Apple juice is made through pressing and heating apples to prolong shelf life. This process strips complexity. Cider retains more full-bodied flavor characteristics as the apples are pressed without pasteurization. The result is a richer, less filtered beverage better suited to deliver authentic apple essence in this cocktail.

What Alcohol is Good with Apple Cider?

Apple cider mixes well with various spirits. While bourbon and dark rum traditionally pair best, bringing out the cider’s flavors, vodka is a lighter option that also compliments it well. You really can’t go wrong letting guests choose their preferred poison to blend with the cider.

Can I Enjoy This Apple Cider Cocktail Warm?

This recipe is best enjoyed chilled, as ginger beer loses its fizz when heated. That said, the apple cider, spirits and citrus could translate well as a warm drink. Feel free to experiment with creating a hot version by leaving out the ginger beer. I’d be curious to learn how the flavors blend when heated into a cozy winter warmer.

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