This easy Spiked Apple Cider is a sweet, refreshing fall cocktail with real apple cider, spicy ginger beer, and smoky bourbon. It can also be made as a sweet apple cider mocktail for the kiddos!
Why You’ll Love This Spiked Apple Cider Cocktail
This quick, sweet cocktail that doubles as a mocktail is sure to be your new autumn favorite. Here’s why:
- Crisp and Cozy: Spiked apple cider is the perfect drink for autumn, with the seasonal taste of real apple cider and Kentucky bourbon.
- Customizable: Spiked apple cider is so easy to tweak. Adjust it to your liking by changing the type and amount of alcohol you add. Or experiment with different spices and garnishes, such as cinnamon sticks, cloves, or orange slices.
- Easy to Make: No bartender skills needed! Spiked apple cider is incredibly easy to prepare. And you can make it in large batches for a crowd, or in single servings for smaller get-togethers.
What Is Spiked Cider Made Of?
To make this simple cocktail, you will need some good apple cider (not hard cider) and a few cocktail basics. For full ingredient amounts and directions, scroll to the printable recipe card at the bottom of this post.
- Apple Cider: I used some homemade cider that I picked up locally, but any good apple cider or unfiltered apple juice will work!
- Ginger Beer: You can also use ginger ale, however ginger beer has a much stronger and spicier ginger taste.
- Bourbon: Smoky bourbon is perfect to take this drink from mocktail to cocktail. If you don’t have bourbon, any whiskey is fine. You could also use brandy.
- Ice: I like crushed ice here.
- Optional Garnishes: Candied ginger and cubed apples make great garnishes, or use a sprig of fresh rosemary!
What Alcohol Is Good with Apple Cider?
Apple cider pairs well with lots of different liquors, including bourbon, whiskey, rum, brandy, and cinnamon or apple-flavored liqueurs. You can definitely experiment to find your favorite combination!
How to Make Spiked Apple Cider
Nothing fancy here – just mix and pour. The apple cider and bourbon should be mixed first. When you’re ready to serve, pour the cider-bourbon mixture over crushed ice, and then top it off with ginger beer for a fizzy finish. Garnishes go on top for a nice presentation, and you’re done!
Tips for Success
These simple tips will help you create the perfect spiked apple cider cocktail. Your fall and winter just got a lot more festive!
- Quality Apple Cider: The tastiest apple ciders are fresh-pressed. Look for cider without added sugars or preservatives for the best flavor.
- Alcohol Content: If you want to adjust the strength of your cocktail, start with a smaller amount of bourbon, and then add more if desired. Be careful not to overpower the natural apple cider flavor.
- Sweeten as Needed: If your drink is a little too sharp, you can add a touch of sweetness with some honey, maple syrup, or simple syrup.
- Garnish Options: Garnishes like citrus slices, apples, cinnamon sticks, or sprigs of fresh herbs (like rosemary) can really elevate your drink experience.
Variations For This Apple Cider Cocktail
There are so many ways to change up a spiked apple cider, and each one is so delicious. Here are just a few ideas to get you started:
- Hot Toddy Apple Cider: Gently warm the apple cider on the stove, and then add the bourbon. A little bit of honey and lemon, with a cinnamon stick for stirring/garnish, makes this warm drink that much more festive.
- Maple Bourbon Apple Cider: Add a drizzle of pure maple syrup and a sprig of rosemary to your spiked apple cider. This one is good hot or cold.
- Pear and Ginger Apple Cider: Substitute a bit of pear brandy for the bourbon, and garnish the cocktail with slices of fresh pear.
- Cinnamon Sugar Rim: Another fun option is to rim your glass with cinnamon sugar. Place a mixture of granulated sugar or raw sugar and a pinch of cinnamon on a shallow plate. Use a lemon, orange or honey to wet the rim of your glass and press it into the cinnamon sugar.
Storing Spiked Apple Cider
Spiked apple cider can be safely stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 to 5 days. However, the ginger beer will definitely go flat long before that time, so I really recommend making and serving this drink fresh! Thankfully it only takes a couple of minutes to prepare!
More Festive Cocktail Recipes
- Cranberry Halloween Punch
- Pumpkin Coquito
- White Peach Sangria
- Mulled Wine
- Pomegranate Margarita
- Puerto Rican Coquito
- Homemade Eggnog
Spiked Apple Cider
- 3 oz apple cider
- 2 oz ginger beer, or ginger ale
- 1 oz bourbon, whiskey or rum
- crushed ice
- candied ginger and sliced fresh apple, optional garnish
- Mix apple cider and bourbon and pour over crushed ice. Add ginger beer and garnish with candied ginger and apple. Serve immediately.
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