Nothing will warm you on a chilly Autumn or Winter evening like this Spiked Apple Cider Drink. Fresh apple cider along with apple brandy and a touch of caramel syrup bring together a festive cocktail that will add “merry” to any holiday celebrations this year. Serve this lovely libation with homemade whipped cream and a drizzle of homemade caramel sauce.
Hot Apple Cider with Brandy
Apple Cider is the quintessential ingredient for any cocktail centered around the chilly seasons. Add some Brandy and you have the perfect drink to add to your holiday cocktail recipe repertore. It’s best for a Fall or Winter evening around the fireplace with friends. A hot cider drink will warm up a get-together quicker than you can imagine. The mingling of flavors in this recipe is not only satisfying but deliciously inviting.
Another fantastic Fall cocktail is this Pumpkin Spice Martini which is basically like pumpkin pie in a glass. Also, this pitcher of Red Sangria is the perfect drink for getting a group together to enjoy the beginning of cooler weather.
Three Simple Ingredients go into this Spiked Apple Cider
- Fresh Apple Cider. Some of the best and freshest ciders are found at your local apple orchard. Make a day of it with the family and go pick apples and grab a gallon of their apple cider while you’re there. Choose an unfiltered cider t provides the best color and flavor.
- Apple Brandy. You can use regular Brandy if you prefer. Either one when added to an apple cider drink will make for a nice warmth as it goes down.
- Caramel Flavoring Syrup. You can find this in the coffee section. I prefer Torani Brand.
- Sweetened Whipped Cream. It’s so easy to whip up fresh whole cream from scratch. It literally takes less than 10 minutes with a hand mixture. Add some granulated sugar (to taste). When I’ve been in a pinch for time, I’ve used store-bought whipped cream.
- Caramel Sauce. Spend a little extra and choose a good caramel sauce that is nice and thick to drizzle over the sweetened whipped cream. If you’re ambitious, I have a luscious Caramel Sauce recipe.
How to Make an Apple Cider Cocktail
Most cocktails are quick and easy to make and this one is no different. It will literally take you about 10 minutes if you have the (optional) whipped cream ready in the fridge.
- Heat the apple cider and caramel syrup. In a medium-sized saucepan, bring the cider to a boil over medium-high heat and reduce to a simmer.
- Add the Apple Brandy. Once the cider is reduced to a simmer, the Brandy is then added. Stir and then remove the saucepan from the stovetop. If you add the alcohol too soon, a good portion of it will burn off.
- Ladle into glass mugs.
- (Optional) Dollop chilled sweetened whipped cream on top. I used a piping bag to get the swirling effect.
- (Optional) Drizzle caramel sauce over the whipped cream. Serve immediately while the cocktail is still warm.
What other types of Alcohol can go into an Spiked Apple Cider Recipe
- Spiced or Dark Rum goes really well with the cider. Spiced Rum adds tasting notes of nutmeg, cinnamon, and pepper along with fruity sweet flavors of coconut, mango, and orange. Dark rum has a smoky sweetness from the oak barrels and molasses.
- Bourbon/Whiskey are found in numerous apple cider cocktail recipes. Bourbon has notes of vanilla, oak, and caramel which pairs wonderfully with cider. Any whiskey in general would work in this drink.
- Apple Cider pairs great with dark liquor like the ones above. But you can also use other alcohol like vodka and tequila.
- Fireball. A good splash of fireball added to this recipe will enrich it with a strong cinnamon-like candy taste in conjunction with spicy whiskey. Now that’s a way to elevate this holiday cocktail to a whole new festive level!
What are some other Garnishments?
Insert a Cinnamon stick into the whipped cream. If you’re not topping it with cream, just add the stick to the drink as a stirrer.
A Star Anise and a twisted orange peel on top of the drink. This makes a lovely presentation as well.
Dried apple slices are a wonderful addition and they’re so simple to make. Either stick the apple slice into the whipped cream or cut the slice halfway and attach it to the side of the glass.
- Slice apples very thinly (I like red ones because they have a beautiful red ring around them), place on a baking sheet individually layered without touching each other, and bake in a 225°F oven for about two hours or until they are lightly browned and slightly curled.
Can you Make this into a “Mulled” Apple Cider Cocktail?
Yes. Mulled simply means spiced. Throw in a few cinnamon sticks, star anises, and whole cloves while the apple cider and caramel syrup are heating up. Let it simmer for at least 30 minutes to infuse the drink with the spices. Strain and continue with the recipe as directed.
Can you Make a Large Batch of this Hot Apple Cider Recipe?
Of course! All that is needed is to double or triple the amount of cider, caramel syrup, and brandy. You still make it as directed. For convenience sake, you can serve it without the whipped cream and caramel sauce but add a cinnamon stick for garnishment. Or make a large batch of homemade whipped cream to dollop on top after you serve up each individual glass. Either way, a hot spiked apple cider drink will be a treat for your guests.
There is a beautiful social aspect when enjoying a relaxing evening around drinks and good conversation with friends. This Spiked Apple Cider Cocktail will definitely create a sipping pleasure for everyone involved. We should make time where we share life with people we love, where drinks flow freely and care and tensions of the day are swallowed up in a lighthearted atmosphere. Boy, have we needed that in our lives lately!
If you make this cocktail, please comment at the bottom of this page. I love to hear from you.
Also, if you’re looking for more festive cocktail recipes, check these out:
Boozy Aged Eggnog
Red Wine Sangria with Brandy
Pumpkin Spice Vodka Martini
Berry Infused White Rum Mojito
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Hot Spiked Apple Cider with Brandy and Caramel
The mingling of flavors in this cocktail makes it a perfect Fall or Winter drink. I’ve chosen apple brandy, apple cider, and a bit of caramel flavoring syrup. It is that simple. Top it off with homemade sweetened whipped cream and a drizzle of caramel sauce.
- Prep Time: 2 minutes
- Cook Time: 5 minutes
- Total Time: 7 minutes
- Yield: 4 servings 1x
- Category: Cocktail
- Method: Cooking
- Cuisine: American
- 14 oz Apple Cider
- 14 oz Apple Brandy
- 6 tablespoons Caramel Flavoring Syrup (in the coffee section – I prefer Torani))
- Sweetened Whipped Cream (optional)
- Caramel Sauce for drizzling (optional) – recipe here
- In a medium-sized saucepan, bring the 14 ounces of cider and 6 tablespoons of caramel syrup to a boil over medium-high heat and reduce to a simmer.
- Add the 14 ounces of Apple Brandy, stir and remove the saucepan from the stovetop.
- Divide and ladle into 4 – 8 ounce glass mugs.
- Dollop chilled sweetened whipped cream on top (optional).
- Drizzle caramel sauce over the whipped cream (optional).
- Serve immediately while the cocktail is still warm.
- Some of the best and freshest ciders are found at your local apple orchard. Make a day of it with the family and go pick apples and grab a gallon of their apple cider while you’re there. Choose an unfiltered cider which provides the best color and flavor.
- Serving Size: 8 oz Cup w/out whipped cream
- Calories: 395
- Sugar: 34 g
- Sodium: 26 mg
- Fat: 0 g
- Saturated Fat: 0 g
- Unsaturated Fat: 0 g
- Trans Fat: 0 g
- Carbohydrates: 35 g
- Fiber: 0 g
- Protein: 0 g
- Cholesterol: 0 mg
Keywords: spiked apple cider, apple cider cocktail, apple cider drink, cider cocktails, brandy drink, cider drink
Apple Cider, Apple Brandy, and Caramel! It doesn’t get any better than that. YUM!
This looks so good! What a fun way to make a dessert into a drink!
Kristy Murray says
Thanks so much Suzanne for stopping by. It does hit the spot on a chilly Autumn evening.
Thanks for sharing! Does it keep long?
Kristy Murray says
Good question. Thanks for asking Vanessa. This will be good in the refrigerator for 7-10 days.
Susan Cox says
Do you use hard cider or apple juice?
Kristy Murray says
Hi Susan. So sorry for the late reply. My computer went black on me and I was just now able to get it to “wake up.” I hope that you were able to figure out the ingredient. Just for future reference, I used apple cider but I think hard cider would be wonderful as well.
Sparkling cider or apple cider juice ? So excited to try for cocktail Christmas party coming up !
Kristy Murray says
Hi Destiny. Just regular apple cider juice. Enjoy. I think you will really love the cocktail. Merry Christmas!
Loving the flavours of this hot toddy Kristy!
Okay, I’m ready for fall and for warm comforting drinks — but, I think I’ll have one even though it’s still summer. How could I not!? Yum! 🙂 ~Valentina
David @ Spiced says
It won’t be long now before we hit those cool evenings, and this is such a fun twist on a hot toddy! In fact, I just saw fresh apple cider start to show up in the stores this week. Apple cider itself is the quintessential fall treat, but then you go and add some apple brandy!? Yes, please! I bet a splash of bourbon would go well here, too!