Easy Spiked Apple Cider with Bourbon

LAST UPDATED: Oct 23, 2020 | PUBLISHED: Oct 23, 2020 | By: Julie Blanner

This Spiked Apple Cider with bourbon is an easy holiday cocktail recipe that will warm your spirits. It is the perfect hot apple cider cocktail for chilly nights, fall and winter festivities, Thanksgiving and Christmas!

Learn how to make this easy-to-sip spiked cider recipe with a few simple tips and tricks along the way!

spiked apple cider in white mugs on a wooden board with cinnamon sticks

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There’s nothing quite like a classic, and this apple cider cocktail has warmed up even the coldest evenings this fall. In fact, it seems I’ve acquired a taste for bourbon and there’s no turning back.

It all started with these Mint Juleps last spring and this Cinnamon Apple Old Fashioned last fall. It adds a lot of flavor and more importantly, warmth to a cocktail.

Recently, I shared an apple cider bourbon slush recipe, but now that the temperatures have dropped to freezing, I have been brewing bourbon-spiked Homemade Apple Cider on the stove.

Honestly, it smells so good it basically doubles as potpourri as it simmers.

spiked apple cider in white mugs on a wooden board with cinnamon sticks

Just one bourbon-spiked apple cider cocktail and I’m feeling festive. They not only make your home smell like Christmas but feel like it, too.

So turn on your favorite Thanksgiving playlist or Christmas playlist and brew up a batch of jolly good times. Cheers to the holiday season!

If you love apple everything as much as we do, don’t miss my FREE Apple Recipe Guide. It’s full of my best tips for baking with apples!

Why You’ll Love this Spiked Apple Cider

  • Perfect for chilly fall and winter nights
  • Easy to make for a crowd
  • So easy to customize… use a little bourbon, or more.
  • Delicious fall flavors and fragrance

Spiked Apple Cider Ingredients

  • Apple Cider – The fresher, the better- and yes, you can even make your own! If you can find Apple Cider at your nearest farmer’s market or farm stand, you’re off to a good start!
  • Bourbon – Use whichever is your favorite. I have listed out a few of my favorites below!
  • Apple – Freshly sliced for additional apple flavor.
  • Pear – Pears add a subtle, rounded flavor to the spiked cider.
  • Cinnamon Sticks & Star Anise – Two warming spices that pair beautifully with apple. If you can’t find them in whole form, simply omit them, as the ground varieties will impart a chalky texture.

Variations

spiked apple cider in white mugs on a wooden board with cinnamon sticks

How to Make Spiked Apple Cider

  1. In a large pot, combine the apple cider, bourbon, apple and pear slices, cinnamon sticks, and star anise over medium-low heat for 10 minutes.
  2. Reduce the heat to low and serve warm.

Can I Make This Hot Apple Cider Without Alcohol?

Of course, this apple cider recipe can be made without the alcohol! When following the directions, just skip the bourbon and only heat together the apple cider, fruit, and spices. For step by step directions, please see my Homemade Apple Cider recipe.

What alcohol is good with apple cider?

Bourbon is a classic to warm you through and through. If you aren’t a fan of bourbon, you can always use different alcohol. Brandy or a dark aged rum all pair perfectly with the sweet flavors of the spices and apple cider.

What’s the best bourbon to spike a cocktail?

We love Maker’s Mark, Bulleit, Four Roses and Basil Hayden’s for Bourbon.

warm bourbon apple cider in a white pot on the stovetop

How To Serve A Warm Apple Cider Cocktail

Since this makes more than just a couple drinks, I like to keep the mixture in the pot on low throughout the night to keep everything from getting cold. It makes for easy drink refills all night. Just don’t forget to turn any and all burners off before the night ends.

Alternatively, you can use your crockpot or an electric kettle to keep the cider warm!

spiked apple cider in a white mug with cinnamon, star anise, and orange slice

Set Up a Spike-It-Yourself Apple Cider Station

Simply cook up the apple cider without the alcohol, and set up a couple of your favorite bottles of dark liquor for people to choose from. Now everyone can enjoy this warm and cozy drink, just the way they like!

How to Garnish Spiked Apple Cider

spiked apple cider in white mugs on a wooden board with cinnamon sticks

Tips

  • You can use 2-3 cups of bourbon to your preference. I tend to like mine strong, so I use 3 cups. It helps balance the sweet flavors of apple cider.
  • Buy fresh apple cider or unfiltered apple juice for the best flavor – or try my homemade cider, it’s so easy!
  • I like to serve my spiked apple cider in oversized mugs for easy sipping.

How to Store

  • Room Temperature – Your spiked apple cider cocktails can sit out for up to two hours before requiring refrigeration.
  • Refrigerator – If you can’t finish it all in one night, you can place the mixture in an airtight container and store it in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
  • Freezer – Yes, you can freeze apple cider and create an apple cider slush. Store in an airtight container for up to three months.
  • To warm it up, heat on the stove over medium-low heat for 5-10 minutes.
  • You could also place the cocktail in a microwave-safe mug and microwave it for about 30 seconds, or until desired temperature is reached.
hand holding spiked apple cider in a white mug with cinnamon, star anise, and orange slice

More Holiday Cocktails

The holidays are full of get-togethers and parties, which means you have an excuse to pull out all the stops with some amazing cocktail recipes. Here are some of my favorites that sure to get anyone in the holiday spirit:

More Apple Recipes

spiked apple cider in cream mug with orange slice cinnamon stick and star of anise

Spiked Apple Cider with Bourbon

Julie Blanner
This Spiked Apple Cider with bourbon is an easy holiday cocktail recipe that will warm your spirits. It is the perfect hot apple cider cocktail for chilly nights, fall and winter festivities, Thanksgiving and Christmas! Learn how to make this easy-to-sip spiked cider recipe with a few simple tips and tricks along the way!
5 from 6 votes
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 15 mins
Course Drinks
Cuisine American
Servings 10
Calories 278 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1/2 gallon apple cider
  • 2-3 cups bourbon
  • 1 apple sliced
  • 1 pear sliced
  • 6 cinnamon sticks
  • star of anise

Instructions
 

  • In a large pot, combine cider, bourbon, apple, pear, cinnamon sticks and star of anise over medium-low for 10 minutes.
  • Reduce to low and serve warm.

Notes

Notes

  • Adjust the amount of bourbon depending on how strong of a drink you like.
  • Nutrition is based on spiked apple cider made with 3 cups bourbon.

How to Store

  • Room Temperature – Your spiked apple cider cocktails can sit out for up to two hours before requiring refrigeration.
  • Refrigerator – If you can’t finish it all in one night, you can place the mixture in an airtight container and store it in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
  • Freezer – Yes, you can freeze apple cider and create an apple cider slush. Store in an airtight container for up to three months.

Nutrition

Calories:278kcalCarbohydrates:28gProtein:1gFat:1gSaturated Fat:1gSodium:9mgPotassium:240mgFiber:2gSugar:22gVitamin A:16IUVitamin C:3mgCalcium:39mgIron:1mg
Did you Make This Recipe?Mention @JulieBlanner
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mini loaves of bread gift wrapped