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!
There’s nothing quite like a classic, and this apple cider cocktail has warmed up even the coldest evenings this fall. 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.
A few weeks ago I shared an apple cider bourbon slush recipe, but now that the temperatures have dropped to freezing, I have been brewing bourbon-spiked apple cider on the stove, which doubles as potpourri.
Spiked Apple Cider Ingredients
- Apple Cider – The fresher, the better! 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.
What is the Best Bourbon to Use?
Our favorite bourbons are:
- Maker’s Mark
- Four Roses
- Basil Hayden’s
All give this bourbon-spiked apple cider cocktail great flavor.
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.
How to Make Spiked Apple Cider
- 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.
- 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.
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…
Set Up a Spike-It-Yourself Apple Cider Station
Simply cook up the drink 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 Store the Leftover Spiked Apple Cider Recipe
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. 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.
Tips For The Best Hot Apple Cider Cocktail
- 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.
- I like to serve my spiked apple cider in oversized mugs for easy sipping. It’s also easy to ladle the spiked cider into and garnish with cinnamon sticks, star of anise, and orange slices.
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 Christmas playlist and brew up a batch of jolly good times. Cheers to the holiday season!
Don’t Miss Out On More of Your Favorite 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:
- Apple Pear Christmas Cocktail
- Warm and Cozy Mulled Wine
- Mai Tai
- Hot Buttered Bourbon
- Cinnamon Toast Cocktail
- Bourbon Smash Cocktail
Love Apple Everything? Try These Recipes:
Serve this Non Alcoholic Mulled Wine for non-drinkers! It’s sooooo good!
Spiked Apple Cider with Bourbon
- 1/2 gallon apple cider
- 2-3 c bourbon
- 1 apple sliced
- 1 pear sliced
- 6 cinnamon sticks
- star of anise
- 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.