Bourbon Spiked Apple Cider Recipe {Hot Apple Cider}

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  • 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!

    spiked apple cider

    Bourbon Spiked Apple Cider Recipe

    There’s nothing quite like a classic, and this cocktail has warmed up evening 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.

    Just Skip to the Bourbon Spiked Apple Cider Recipe, Please…

    If you’re already a cocktail pro, and think you could get by without my helpful tips and tricks, essential cooking info, and similar recipe ideas. You can go straight to this classic, easy to sip hot apple cider cocktail recipe right now. Simply scroll to the bottom of the page where you can find the printable recipe card.

    easy bourbon spiked apple cider recipe Christmas cocktail

    The Best Bourbon For Spiked Apple Cider

    Our favorite bourbons to use are Maker’s Mark, Bulleit, Four Roses or 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 a different alcohol. Bourbon, brandy, or a dark aged rum all pair perfectly with the sweet flavors of the spices and apple cider.

    easy bourbon spiked apple cider recipe

    Can I Make This Hot Apple Cider Without Alcohol?

    Of course, this can be made without the alcohol! When following the directions just skip the bourbon, and only heat together the apple cider, fruit, and spices.

    Another great option to make this a win-win situation for all is to 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!

    hot apple cider

    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.

    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.

    hot apple cider

    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.

    spiked cider in mug

    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

    Mai Tai

    Hot Buttered Bourbon

    Love Apple Everything? Try these ideas

    easy bourbon spiked apple cider recipe Christmas cocktail

    The Perfect Bourbon Spiked Apple Cider For the Holiday Season

    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!

    how to make hard cider
    5 from 1 vote

    Spiked Apple Cider Recipe {Hot Apple Cider Cocktail}

    This spiked apple cider with bourbon is an easy holiday cocktail recipe that will warm your spirits. The perfect hot apple cider cocktail for chilly nights!
    Course Drinks
    Prep Time 5 minutes
    Cook Time 10 minutes
    Total Time 15 minutes
    Servings 10


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


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

    Recipe Notes

    Adjust the amount of bourbon depending on how strong of a drink you like. 

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