As the leaves change color and the air becomes crisp, there's no better way to savor the flavors of fall than with a delicious Apple Cider Cocktail infused with the warm, mellow notes of bourbon. This seasonal sipper perfectly embodies Autumn, combining the nostalgic comfort of apple cider with the sophisticated spirit of bourbon. Whether you're gathered with friends around a fire pit or simply craving a cozy evening in, this cocktail offers the perfect balance of sweetness, spice, and a touch of Southern charm. Join me on a journey to craft a drink that captures the essence of the season, a toast to the beauty of Autumn in every sip.
We find ourselves in a special time of year when family and friends gather together to celebrate deep and abiding relationships. There's something truly magical about this season, where close-knit connections are strengthened. And what better way to enhance these cherished moments than by crafting and sharing some delicious Autumn cocktails? My Apple Cider Sangria and this Spiked Apple Cider are the perfect concoctions for making Holiday gatherings all the more memorable. A pitcher of Red Wine Sangria is a must-have for festive get-togethers. Oh, and I can't leave out my Pumpkin Martini with Vodka. Every sip becomes a cherished memory and every clink of glasses is a toast to the enduring bonds that bind us.
Ingredients for this Apple Cider Drink
- Bourbon. I chose a Kansas City bourbon from a local distillery, Tom's Town, because it's warm and spicy with notes of maple, butterscotch and honey. These naturally complement the sweet and fruity flavors of the apple cider. Any good bourbon will work with this recipe though.
- Apple Cider. I chose apple cider because it's synonymous with the Fall season, which makes it a popular addition to Holiday-themed cocktails. It brings a natural sweetness reducing the need for excessive added sugars or syrups.
- Benedictine Liqueur. This has a complex flavor profile that includes notes of honey, vanilla, saffron, and spices which complement the sweetness and tartness of the cider and the warm vanilla, and caramel notes of the bourbon.
- Sweet Vermouth. This is a fortified wine with a variety of herbs and botanicals which contribute depth to the cocktail making it more interesting and sophisticated.
- Fresh Lemon Juice. Lemon juice provides a zesty element balancing the sweet components of this drink. It also brightens up the flavors and helps cut through the richness of the alcohol.
- Dash of Orange Bitters. The combination of herbal and citrus notes in bitters can enhance the overall bouquet giving it an aromatic layer.
A quick side note: I don't receive any compensation for giving a shout-out to Tom's Town Bourbon—it's simply a personal favorite of mine. If you're curious to explore further or would like to order their premium distilled spirits, you can visit Tom's Town Distillery by following this link.
How to Make an Apple Cider Cocktail
- Add Ice to a large cocktail stirring glass and pour in bourbon, apple cider, Benedictine, and sweet vermouth.
- Squeeze fresh lemon juice into the stirring glass.
- Add a dash of orange bitters.
- Stir the cocktail with a long-handled bar spoon. Insert the spoon allowing it to rest on the side of the glass. Stir gently and smoothly until the ingredients are well mixed and chilled.
- Strain the ice with a cocktail strainer into a coupe glass and garnish with a dried apple slice and a star anise.
Just a Little Warning: There's a lot going on here. The result is a cocktail that is elegant, well-rounded, and wonderfully deceptive. While it may seem like a sweet mellow indulgence, it's essential to remember that this drink indeed carries a significant alcoholic content below its smooth surface. If you would like to taste more of the apple cider, you can adjust it according to your taste preference.
What Alcohol is good with Apple Cider?
Though I prefer bourbon, other alcohols pair well with apple cider including rum and different whiskeys. Spiced rum would be a good choice. These darker spirits complement the apple cider well. Lighter alcohol like vodka, gin, and tequila can also make interesting drinks with apple cider, but I wouldn't recommend them for this cocktail, given the vermouth and Benedictine.
Can you make apple cider cocktails ahead of time?
For the best taste and quality, it's generally recommended to prepare cocktails on the day you plan to serve them, especially if you want to enjoy the freshest and most vibrant flavors. You can premix the base components of the cocktail, bourbon, Benedictine, and sweet vermouth, a few hours ahead of time. Add the apple cider and fresh lemon juice just before serving.
Can You Make a Large Batch for a Party?
Absolutely, while this recipe is designed for a single cocktail, you can easily scale it up to create a large batch. To determine the quantities for your desired number of guests, simply multiply the ingredients by the number of people you plan to serve. For example, if you're hosting a gathering of 20 people, here are my recommendations. However, you may need more for 20 guests because this is only one drink per person.
- 7 ½ cups of Bourbon
- 2 ½ cups Apple Cider
- 1 ¼ cups Benedictine
- 1 ¼ cups Sweet Vermouth
- 1 ¼ cups Fresh Squeezed lemon juice
- 20 dashes of Orange Bitters
What Goes Well with Apple Cider?
Apple cider pairs well with pork entrées, especially during the Autumn season. The sweet, tart, and fruity notes in apple cider complement the slightly sweet flavor of the pork perfectly. Here are a few pork dishes that go well with apple cider when serving this cocktail.
- Fruit Stuffed Pork Loin Roast. An elegant and impressive presentation for any special occasion, especially the holidays.
- Wild Rice Stuffed Pork Chops. These Stuffed Pork Chops transform boring, bland pork into juicy pork chops overflowing with a wild rice blend that is beautifully displayed on a bed of sautéed mushrooms and onions.
- Herbed Pork Crown Roast. This Pork Crown Roast is a magnificent centerpiece for any holiday table. An herb and spice rub is the secret that delivers a flavorful dish.
- Pork Roast Stuffed with Roasted Red Peppers, Feta and Spinach. Loads of spices create a rub that infuses this meat with a rich depth of flavor. The center overflows with spinach, roasted red peppers, feta cheese, and garlic.
My inspiration came from a cocktail book, I'm Just Here for the Drinks. My favorite cocktail from the book is one called Pendergast#2. It uses sweet vermouth and Benedictine with whiskey. I thought a nice addition would be to add apple cider in honor of the season. I also found another very similar recipe on A Couple Cooks website.
Join me in embracing the heartwarming spirit of this season where we explore the art of mixing and sipping festive libations. This Apple Cider Cocktail infused with warm, rich notes of Bourbon is how we raise our glasses and celebrate the essence of the Holidays together.
Looking for more Fall Festive Cocktails?Print
Apple Cider Cocktail with Bourbon
There's no better way to savor the flavors of fall than with a delicious Apple Cider Cocktail infused with the warm, mellow notes of bourbon. This seasonal sipper perfectly embodies Autumn, combining the nostalgic comfort of apple cider with the sophisticated spirit of bourbon.
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: 0 minutes
- Total Time: 5 minutes
- Yield: 1 cocktail 1x
- Category: Cocktails
- Method: Stir
- 3 ounces Bourbon
- 1 ounce Fresh Apple Cider
- ½ ounce Benedictine Liqueur
- ½ ounce Sweet Vermouth
- ½ ounce Fresh Lemon Juice
- Dash of Orange Bitters
- Dried Apple Slice and Star Anise. Optional garnishment.
- Add Ice to a large cocktail stirring glass and pour in 3 ounces of bourbon, 1 ounce of apple cider, ½ ounce each of Benedictine, sweet vermouth, and fresh lemon juice, and a dash of bitters.
- Stir the cocktail gently and smoothly with a long bar spoon until the drink is thoroughly chilled.
- Strain the ice with a cocktail strainer into a coupe glass.
- Garnish with a dried apple slice and a star anise (optional).
- A coupe cocktail glass is a great option, but any whiskey glass will work as well.
- While this recipe is designed for a single cocktail, you can easily scale it up to create a large batch for a party. To determine the quantities for your desired number of guests, simply multiply the ingredients by the number of people you plan to serve. (See above the post for a 20-person recommendation).
- For the best taste and quality, it's generally recommended to prepare the cocktail on the day you plan to serve it, especially if you want to enjoy the freshest and most vibrant flavors.
- I prefer bourbon with this cocktail, although other alcohols pair well with apple cider including rum and different whiskeys. Spiced rum would be a good choice. These darker spirits complement the apple cider well. Lighter alcohol like vodka, gin, and tequila can also make interesting drinks with apple cider, but I wouldn't recommend them for this cocktail, given the vermouth and Benedictine.
- Just a little warning: While it may seem like a sweet mellow indulgence, it's essential to remember that this drink indeed carries a significant alcoholic content below its smooth but deceptive surface.
- If you would like to taste more of the apple cider, you can adjust it according to your taste preference.
- Serving Size: 1 Cocktail
- Calories: 283
- Sugar: 5 g
- Sodium: 10 mg
- Fat: 0 g
- Saturated Fat: 0 g
- Unsaturated Fat: 0 g
- Trans Fat: 0 g
- Carbohydrates: 7 g
- Fiber: 0 g
- Protein: 0 g
- Cholesterol: 0 mg
Keywords: apple cider cocktail, more apple cider cocktails, apple cider drink, apple cider bourbon cocktail