Bourbon Maple Cider Cocktail

Bourbon Maple Cider Cocktail Recipe

Sweet and heat.

For those of you not into bourbon and egg nog [which makes my whiskey soaked little heart sad] here is another Christmas whiskey cocktail recipe for you that might fit the bill. Here’s the recipe that serves two:

  • 3 oz Bourbon [Bulleit]
  • 1/2 Cup Apple Cider
  • 1 Tsp Maple Syrup
  • 2 Tsp Lemon Juice
  • 3 Dashes Spiced or Aromatic Bitters [Bittermilk]
  • A Pinch of Cayenne Pepper

Now the original recipe calls for this to be a shaken cocktail, but if you have carbonated cider that’s a terrible idea. Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass with ice and stir for 30 seconds, then pour over ice into a rocks glass. You get the sweetness from the apple cider and syrup, some heat and spice from the bourbon and Cayenne, and some underlying deliciousness from whatever bitters toss into the mix. I was torn between the Bittermilk and either Black Cloud’s Charred Cedar or Bitters Lab’s Charred Cedar & Currant, but I was feeling more savory today rather than a more perfume / aromatic bitters so I went with Bittermilk.

Spicier and more savory [rather than oaky or leathery] bourbon’s go very well with ciders and there is a lot of room to play there. You lose most of the bourbon’s ‘harsher’ notes that many of your guests may find off-putting as the apple cider tends to dominate this drink, Bulleit, Wild Turkey, or even Maker’s Mark are great in this cocktail. You can garnish with near anything you like, lemon peel, cinnamon stick, or a cherry for some added sweetness.


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