This Bourbon and Apple Cider Cocktail with Ginger Beer is the perfect Fall libation; plus it’s so easy and delicious!
It’s been six years since I started doing a cocktail each and every Friday and I’ve been pretty determined to keep on task. Occasionally time gets away from me but I’ve had an epiphany. Friday might not have to be the ‘be all and end all’ as long as I still share favorites like this Bourbon and Apple Cider Cocktail!
While I want to keep to a schedule, sometimes it just gets the best of me and this year, Spring and Summer gardening projects have been the culprit that waylaid my schedule and I quit fighting it. This won’t be the case every year but I desperately wanted to get some major projects completed and look forward to summer next year I’m anticipating less work and more play.
I left such a beautiful yard when I moved here in 2014; I still whine about it a bit. But while whining I’ve also been hard at work creating an ambiance here; this summer was the ‘Year of the Deck.’
I know I shared this photo before but can I just tell you how much I love this space? Every single meal; right here. I’ve doubled my outdoor space with a whole new section with an outdoor sofa but it’s this space with my grill and table that gets the most use and was worth all the hard work to get it done.
Peyton and Spot love it too…finding shade is everything in Colorado!
So I’m rebooting this cocktail from half a dozen years ago but honestly, this Bourbon and Apple Cider Cocktail is one of my all time favorites and many readers missed it during the first go around. It’s simple, not too heavy and just about the perfect cocktail for Fall. New photos don’t hurt; I’ve learned so much in the half a dozen years since this was first published!
If you are a bourbon drinker, you can imagine how wonderful it is paired with apple cider. Real apple cider; try to source it if you can. You can use apple juice in a pinch but the cider is a better complement. There are legions of both food and cocktail recipes that contain the combination of bourbon and apple cider, quite simply because the two together are fantastic.
Bourbon has a hint of sweetness to it with notes of vanilla and caramel and it can also have some spice, most often nutmeg, cinnamon and sometimes even clove. Bourbon and apple cider together…it’s not unlike an apple pie! The sweetness of bourbon with caramel notes combined with the tartness of apples makes for a match made in heaven.
I love using apple cider for cocktails; especially since realizing how amazingly easy it is to make (and how amazingly good homemade is to drink!). I made this Apple Cider Bellini too; not just perfect for a Fall brunch…I think they are a fantastic cocktail for Thanksgiving festivities!
If you’re not into making your own cider and live in the Denver/Boulder area, I’ve had some great cider from YaYa Farm & Orchard in Longmont, Colorado. If you want to find an orchard near you for apples or cider, check out the Orange Pippin online directory.
Apple cider is really just raw, unfiltered apple juice that has not gone through any filtration to remove the course particles of pulp or sediment like the juice has. In a commercial cider mill, apples are washed, cut and ground into a mash the consistency of applesauce.
The mash is then usually wrapped in cloth and put through wooden racks of a press where the layers are squeezed and the juice is pressed out and put into refrigerated tanks before being bottled. Typically it is not pasteurized like apple juice either so it has a much shorter shelf life…and for me a much more robust flavor.
For all of the cocktails I’ve enjoyed lately with cider, this one is still my favorite. It could not be easier to prepare and the combination of flavors is spot on. The tartness of cider combined with the sweetness of bourbon all complemented with some sparkling ginger ale (or ginger beer) is really pretty perfect.
I have modified my original recipe just a bit this year; I thought a hint of maple syrup might be good and it was. I keep it light, using between 1/2 and 1 teaspoon depending on the tartness of the cider I’ve used. It’s an option but a good one!
When I had a ‘Girls Nite In’ at my house for some new neighbors the first Fall I lived here, I made this the featured drink. Amy, my neighbor across the street hesitated because she professed to not liking bourbon.
I convinced her to at least give it a taste and as a result of her leap of faith, I started her on a journey of discovery and now I’ve got a convert; it’s all about not being heavy handed with this elixir of the Gods!
I think Fall is finally showing itself in Colorado so this is perfect. We’ve been having late summer temps to rival those in July but today it’s cooler and only 68 degrees outside. You know when the world starts to herald the advent of Fall with many proclaiming it their favorite season I don’t get it and maybe today is a good reminder of why.
Fall in Colorado can be fickle and it seems that just when temps start to become more moderate our first snowstorm follows shortly thereafter. We might have a season called ‘Fallish’ but it’s too short and my lamenting the ending of Summer is because winter is just right around the corner.
So today, with the breeze and coolness in the air I’ll enjoy this brief moment in time with this absolutely perfect Fall libation and you need to join me.
If Amy likes it…betting you will too! Plus…want more Apple Cider Cocktails? I’ve got you covered!
PIN ‘Bourbon and Apple Cider Cocktail’
- 2 ounces Apple Cider, chilled
- 1 ounce Bourbon
- 1/2 to one tsp maple syrup (optional)
- 2 ounces Ginger Beer, chilled
- Apple wedges for garnish
- Combine the cider, bourbon, and maple syrup in a cocktail shaker filled with ice and shake until very cold (if serving a crowd, combine these two ingredients in a pitcher and refrigerate for at least an hour.
- Strain mixture into an ice filled glass and top with the chilled ginger beer. Stir gently.
- Garnish with an apple wedge and serve.
About that apple slice.
I love the cute star shape in the center of an apple as much as the next guy but for practicality sake, well, you have to get to the center of the apple and only get maybe two good slices. I don't advise wasting most of the apple for that effect. Simply use apple wedges instead of slices!
I've made this cocktail several times since this post and have taken to putting a rim on it with sugar and cinnamon.
Mix a combination of 2 Tablespoons of sugar with a teaspoon and a half of cinnamon on a flat plate.
Rub the edge of the glass with maple syrup or cider, and dip it in the cinnamon/sugar mixture.
Proceed according to above directions.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 483
The nutritional information above is computer-generated and only an estimate. Please do your own research with the products you're using if you have a serious health issue or are following a specific diet.