Bourbon Apple Cider Cocktail

clear glass mug with boozy apple cider and a cinnamon stick with a bottle of bourbon behind it

5 from 8 reviews

This bourbon apple cider cocktail is the perfect drink for Fall. Served either warm or cold, this boozy apple cider is a great cocktail for a crowd.


Units Scale
  • 3 cups apple cider
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice, approximately 1 1/2 - 2 lemons
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 5 cinnamon sticks
  • 6 ounces bourbon whiskey
  • 1/4 cup honey


  1. Combine apple cider, orange juice, lemon juice, nutmeg and one of the cinnamon sticks in a medium size pot on the stovetop.
  2. Heat the mixture over medium high heat until it just begins to boil, then lower the heat to medium low and allow the mixture to simmer for 5 minutes.
  3. Remove the mixture from the heat and stir in the bourbon and the honey.
  4. Serve the drink warm in a mug garnished with a cinnamon stick or cool the mixture completely and serve in a glass over ice.


Recipe yields approximately 1 quart of spiked apple cider, or four 8-ounce servings

  • Make sure to add the honey and bourbon AFTER the mixture is off the heat; the honey can create a bitter taste when boiled and the alcohol will cook off from the bourbon.
  • When serving this drink cold, make sure to cool it completely before serving it over ice. If not, the heat from the drink will melt the ice quickly and water the drinks down.

Substitutions and Variations

  • Apple Cider/Juice - Apple cider has a more complex flavor to it as it is unfiltered. Apple juice is filtered and has a sweeter, more straight forward flavor. Either can be used in this recipe, depending on availability and preference
  • Bourbon - A nice bourbon whiskey pairs perfectly with apple cider. It's a bit sweeter than regular whiskey so it's works nicely for this Fall cocktail.
  • Non-Alcoholic - To make a non-alcoholic apple cider drink, simply omit the bourbon from the drink.
  • For a Crowd - This cocktail works great for a party or get together. Double or triple the recipe and serve it out of a slow cooker to keep it warm. For a cold version of this drink, serve it out of a large beverage pitcher.  

Alternative Cooking Methods

  • Slow Cooker - Combine the cider, juices and spices in a slow cooker and cook on low for 2 hours. Stir in the honey and the bourbon and set to the warm setting for serving.

Make Ahead and Storage Instructions

  • The cider, juices and spices can be mixed up to 24 hours ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container. Heat the ingredients up on the stovetop per the instructions and then mix in the bourbon and honey.

  • If serving this drink cold, make and cool the cocktail and store in the refrigerator up to 24 hours in advance.



Keywords: bourbon apple cider cocktail, bourbon apple cider, boozy apple cider, hot bourbon apple cider, fall bourbon cocktails