This apple cider bourbon smash is made with bourbon, fresh apple cider, lemon juice, and cinnamon-simple syrup. It's both refreshing and warming and the perfect cocktail for the fall season.
Served with a slice of apple and cinnamon stick.
Perfect for the holiday season
This apple bourbon smash recipe is a great fall cocktail. It utilizes apple cider, bourbon, and warming cinnamon, perfect as the cold season approaches.
This cozy cocktail presents beautifully with a cinnamon-sugar rim.
- A cocktail shaker or a tall jar with a lid + cocktail strainer.
- Cocktail glasses - Old-fashioned glass/rocks glass.
Here is a rundown of what you'll need for this bourbon apple cider cocktail recipe. Find the measurements and full recipe written in the printable recipe card at the bottom of this post.
- Bourbon - Though the brand of bourbon doesn't matter too much. You can choose the best classic bourbon you can afford or go for a mid-range one like Jim Beam.
- Fresh apple cider - Real apple cider is raw, unfiltered apple juice from fresh apples. It brings a delicate balance of apple flavor to the cocktail. This is not the same as alcoholic hard cider. Regular apple juice could also be used, but this will make it sweeter.
- Cinnamon syrup - It's just simple syrup but steeped with cinnamon sticks. It's delicious! The caramel notes of bourbon and cinnamon make a beautiful combination of flavors.
- Fresh lemon juice - brings a little freshness and enhances the apple flavors. You could use lime juice too.
- Ground cinnamon and granulated sugar for the cinnamon sugar rim on the glass.
- Fresh apple slice to muddle in the drink and for serving. Choose a crisp and sweet apple like Honeycrisp apple slices.
- Cinnamon sticks for garnish
Mix together granulated sugar and ground cinnamon and tip it onto a small plate. Run a slice of lemon along the rim of the glass and dip it in the cinnamon sugar. Set the coated glass aside.
Add an apple slice to a cocktail shaker and muddle it to release the juices. Next, add ice, bourbon, apple cider, cinnamon syrup, and lemon juice.
Add on the lid and give it a good shake until thoroughly chilled. Fill the cocktail glass with ice cubes and strain over the mixed drink.
Garnish with an apple slice and a cinnamon stick. Serve immediately.
Variations and additions
- Apple Butter: Add a tablespoon of apple butter to the cocktail shaker for a richer, more apple-centric flavor. Muddle it with the apple slice before adding the rest of the ingredients.
- Vanilla: Add a few drops of rich vanilla extract or the seeds of a vanilla pod to the shaker for a sweet, aromatic undertone that goes wonderfully with the bourbon.
- Orange Zest/Juice: A bit of fresh orange zest or a splash of orange juice can add a nice citrusy brightness to contrast the rich flavors. Serve it with an orange slice.
- Brown Sugar: Use brown sugar instead of granulated sugar for the cinnamon sugar rim. The molasses in the brown sugar will add a deeper, more complex sweetness.
- Maple Syrup: Replace some or all of the simple syrup with maple syrup. The flavor of maple pairs exceptionally well with apple and cinnamon.
- Ginger Ale: After pouring it into the glass, top the cocktail with ginger ale or ginger beer. This gives the drink slight fizz, and the ginger adds a nice spicy kick.
- More warm spices: Cardamom pods, whole cloves, and grated nutmeg bring more fall feelings to the syrup and taste of apple pie!
- Apple cider whiskey smash: If you're not a bourbon drinker, replace it with whisky
More Cocktail Recipes
- 1 slice Honey crisp apple
- 2oz / 60 ml bourbon
- 2 oz / 60 ml fresh apple cider
- ½ oz / 15 ml cinnamon simple syrup
- ½ oz /15 ml fresh lemon juice
- 2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Apple slice and cinnamon stick
- Mix granulated sugar and ground cinnamon together and tip it onto a small plate. Run a slice of lemon along the rim of the glass and dip it in the cinnamon sugar. Set the coated glass aside.
- Mash the apple slice in a cocktail shaker to release the juice.
- Add ice, bourbon, apple cider, cinnamon syrup, and lemon juice. Shake until chilled.
- Fill the cocktail glass with ice cubes and strain over the mixed drink.
- Garnish with an apple slice and a cinnamon stick.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 326Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 11mgCarbohydrates: 50gFiber: 2gSugar: 43gProtein: 0g