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Apple Cider Bourbon Cocktail

This apple cider bourbon cocktail is perfect for fall. Fresh apple cider and bourbon are a perfect match. With a dash of nutmeg and cinnamon, this easy bourbon and apple cider mixed drink will be your new fall favorite.

I’ll give you variations and substitutions where I can, plus helpful tips and tricks for success. Read on for this info as well as the recipe. If you’d like to skip straight to the recipe, use the jump to recipe button at the top of the post.

You may also be interested in my Tom and Jerry drink and my blood orange white wine spritzer recipes. For ease of browsing, you can find all of my cocktail recipes in one place.

Apple cider bourbon cocktail in glass with apple and lemon garnish.

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Apple Cider Bourbon Cocktail

If you are a bourbon drinker, you probably already realize that it pairs beautifully with apple cider. Bourbon has notes of vanilla and caramel, and a bit of sweetness, as well as spice.

If you’ve eaten apple pie or a caramel apple, those flavors are very familiar.

Apple cider whiskey cocktails on wooden board.


For the cocktail, you’ll need apple cider, bourbon, nutmeg and ice.

Apple cider cocktail with bourbon whiskey.

To make the cinnamon sugar rim, you’ll need sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and a bit of lemon.

How to make an apple cider bourbon cocktail

First, combine the ingredients for the cinnamon sugar rim in a small, shallow bowl. Coat the edge of the glass with lemon, then dip the outside edge of the glass into the mixture.

Continue turning glass until the entire edge is coated. You can also dip the entire rim of the glass into the mixture. If you do this, don’t twist as you dip. Tap the glass into the mixture to coat.

Bourbon apple cider drink with apple ring and lemon garnish.

Then, combine drink ingredients in a shaker with ice and shake. Pour over a large cube of ice in prepared glasses and serve.


Here are a few answers to frequently asked questions I’ve been asked over the years.

What is the best bourbon for apple cider cocktails?

The best bourbon is the one you like. Bourbon and cider pair well together, and you will taste the bourbon in this drink, so choose a brand that you like. A few of my personal favorites are Woodford Reserve, Bulleit, Basil Hayden’s and Maker’s Mark.

Can I use apple juice instead of cider?

Yes. But honestly, it won’t be as good.

Bourbon cocktail for fall with apple.

Variations and substitutions

Try pairing apple cider with a similar spirit – rye instead of bourbon. Rye is generally less sweet than bourbon, although they are both types of whiskey.

You can also enjoy this drink without the bourbon. I’ve made a non-alcoholic version, and it is delicious. You could also try it warm instead of cold.

Caramel apple whiskey cocktail

Try adding a tablespoon of caramel syrup to this cocktail. You could also swap out the regular bourbon for an apple whiskey or salty caramel whiskey.

Experiment with different flavors to find your new favorite fall bourbon cocktail.

Autumn bourbon cocktails with apple cider on wooden board with crushed ice.

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Apple Cider Bourbon Cocktail

Cheryl Bennett
This apple cider bourbon cocktail with a dash of nutmeg and cinnamon, will be your new favorite mixed drink for fall.
4.50 from 22 votes
Prep Time 8 minutes
Total Time 11 minutes
Course Cocktails
Cuisine American
Servings 2 people
Calories 171 kcal


For the cocktail

  • 1 cup apple cider
  • 3 ounces bourbon
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg
  • ice – I like one large cube in the glass plus crushed ice for shaking

For the cinnamon sugar rim

  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp lemon juice


  • Wet rims of 2 old fashioned glasses with lemon juice. 
  • Combine sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg.
  • Dip rims of glasses in sugar mixture. Set aside while you make the cocktail.   
  • Combine all ingredients for cocktail in a shaker. Shake vigorously for 10 seconds.
  • Pour evenly into 2 glasses. Garnish with apple slice, cinnamon stick and lemon, if desired.


Serving: 1gCalories: 171kcalCarbohydrates: 18gSodium: 12mgFiber: 1gSugar: 16g
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Thanks for stopping by! Have a delicious day 🙂

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Post originally published in 2012.


    1. Thanks, Betsy! You are such a DOLL! I’m so glad we know each other!!! I am a HUGE fan of bourbon and this drink really is the *perfect* fall libation… especially if you can get your hands on fresh-pressed cider! YUM!

4.50 from 22 votes (21 ratings without comment)

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