Apple Cider Cocktail

Make yourself an Apple Cider Cocktail with cinnamon simple syrup and bourbon for the perfect sip of Autumn at the end of the day. This cozy bourbon cider drink feels like slipping into your favorite flannel shirt.

The Perfect Apple Cider Cocktail

Two apple cider cocktails sit on a serving tray with drink ingredients around

This is all I really want after the baby’s asleep: A couch to sink into, a blanket to cozy up in, and a cocktail to sip on.

This apple cider cocktail is modeled after a drink I had at Kraft House No. 5, one of my favorite restaurants in the area. It’s called The Flannel Shirt and it has fall written all over it: warming bourbon, crisp apple cider, spicy cinnamon syrup, and a hint of lemon and orange.

It is familiar but sophisticated, comforting but refreshing. It really does feel like slipping into your favorite flannel on that first chilly day of fall.

The cinnamon simple syrup will make your house smell amazing, and may even stir up a desire to start playing Christmas music (sorry/not sorry).

But I won’t get too far ahead of myself. For now, I’ll just enjoy the season I’m in: colorful, crisp, cozy Autumn, and all the joys it brings.

Two apple cider cocktails with ice and orange peel on a serving tray

Ingredients Needed

For the cinnamon simple syrup, you’ll just need sugar, water, and cinnamon sticks.

  • Pro tip: Your local Indian market is a great place to buy cinnamon sticks in bulk for a good price. Pick up the spices for this Chai Concentrate while you’re there!

For the cocktails, you’ll need:

  • Bourbon– We’re fans of Bulleit boubon, but you pick your favorite.
  • Apple Cider– Fresh cider from a local orchard is always the best, but a grocery store cider willa also work just fine.
  • Lemon juice
  • The aforementioned cinnamon syrup
  • Dash orange bitters
  • Orange peel, for garnish

How to Make Bourbon Apple Cider Cocktails

  1. Make the syrup: In a small saucepan, bring the water, sugar, and cinnamon to a gentle simmer over medium heat, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and allow the cinnamon to steep while the mixture cools, ideally for at least one hour. Remove the cinnamon sticks before storing.
  2. Make the drinks: Combine the bourbon, cider, lemon juice, simple syrup, and bitters in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake until chilled then pour over ice in a glass and serve.
a couple of apple cider cocktails sit on a bar tray with a bourbon bottle in back

Make Ahead Instructions:

I recommend making the cinnamon syrup in advance. It will keep well in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 1 month.

Uses for Cinnamon Syrup

The cinnamon syrup will make enough for about 16 drinks, so unless you’re having a party, you’ll likely want some other uses.

Try stirring the syrup into teas or coffee drinks. It’s especially great in a Hot Toddy.

You can also use it as a topping for Apple Cinnamon Pancakes or on ice cream with a sprinkle of granola.

a pair of apple cider cocktails on a silver serving tray

More Boozy Fall Drinks

Can’t get enough boozy Autumn goodness? Then you should try my Fall Sangria! As the cold season sets in, also remember to bookmark my Bailey’s Irish Coffee recipe, and for a memorable holiday drink, try my Easy Bourbon Eggnog.

Also check out this Stockyard Pony Cocktail, and my recipe for Vanilla Simple Syrup if you’re looking for a milder sweetener.

Bourbon, cider, and cinnamon syrup combine for the ultimate fall beverage: Bourbon Apple Cider Cocktails.

Apple Cider Cocktail

Yield: 4
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Additional Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes

Bourbon, apple cider, and cinnamon combine for a cocktail that's perfect for an Autumn day.

Ingredients

For the simple syrup:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 3 cinnamon sticks, broken in half

For each drink:

  • 2 ounces bourbon
  • 2 ounces apple cider
  • 1/4 ounce lemon juice
  • 1/2 ounce cinnamon simple syrup
  • Dash orange bitters
  • Orange peel, for garnish

Instructions

  1. Make the syrup: In a small saucepan, bring the water, sugar, and cinnamon to a gentle simmer over medium heat, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and allow the cinnamon to steep while the mixture cools, ideally for at least one hour. Remove the cinnamon sticks before storing.
  2. Make the drinks: For each drink, combine the bourbon, cider, lemon juice, simple syrup, and bitters in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake until chilled then pour over ice in a glass and serve with an orange peel for garnish.

Notes

The syrup can be made up to a month in advance and stored in the fridge in a sealed container.

Did you make this recipe?

Leave a review, or head over to Instagram and share a photo! Tag your projects with #neighborfoodies!

I’m including this little story from the original post, for myself, and also any fellow readers in the trenches with toddlers:

There in my bathroom little P sat, looking adorably ornery, in a pile of unraveled toilet paper. It made for a cute picture, the kind you share on Facebook with a caption like, “Can’t take your eyes off this kid for a minute!”

Here’s what the picture doesn’t tell you: I let him do it. This is something I didn’t realize about motherhood before I had a child of my own. Sometimes your need for 2 minutes to brush your teeth and swipe some mascara on your lashes is greater than your need for neatly rolled toilet paper.

Before we had kids, I was always careful to avoid saying “I will never ______ with my kids.” I had enough mom friends to know this was pure folly.

Still, I never imagined I would willingly, knowingly let my kid unravel an entire roll of toilet paper just for a little bit of me time.  And the destruction I’ve allowed unfortunately doesn’t stop there. He has gleefully ripped dish rags out of drawers, pulled ziplock bags out of boxes, and unearthed mounds of tupperware from the cupboards. Cluttering the house seems to be his favorite his past time.

I’m tempted to spend my days chasing him around, picking up after every mini Godzilla event, pulling him away from the kitchen cabinets, closing drawers, and dragging him back to his designated play area. Unfortunately, that leaves us both exhausted and frustrated. Instead, I’m learning to let him explore, and when I’m tempted to despair over the mess, I join him on the floor, attempting to see the world through his 2 foot tall eyes.

It appears sacrifice is the name of the game for new parents, and one of those sacrifices seems to involve having neatly folded dish towels and orderly cabinets. It gets to me sometimes. Truthfully, it does. I don’t love messy drawers and cluttered floors. I like having my toilet paper in a nice roll. I miss having 30 luxurious, uninterrupted minutes to get ready in the mornings. Heck, I even miss doing the dishes without having to pull a baby away from the dog bowl every other minute.

But at the same time, I wouldn’t trade these messy days for anything. I’m so thankful little P is growing and exploring. I love to watch him learn, love that every little thing can amuse or fascinate him. The opening and closing of a drawer, the stacking of cups and bowls, the clang of a wooden spoon on a pot. Our boring, every day stuff is his playground. So I’ll keep letting him play, and at the end of another long, full, wonderful, chaotic day, I’ll treat myself to a Bourbon Apple Cider Cocktail.

6 Comments

  1. Hi! How many cocktails does the simple syrup recipe include? I’ll be making this recipe for a large party and am trying to see how much of the simple syrup ingredients I’ll need! Thank you!

  2. I had a cocktail at Bullet Bourbon Distillery I have been trying to recreate from memory. This is so similar and wonderful. Will be rotating this in with my standard bourbon cocktails (seasonal) and will be making another tomorrow night.

  3. As a bourbon drinker this is a lovely autumn drink! I added a little ginger ale as a spritz but either way it was very popular at our fall party.

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