Let’s snuggle up with this warming apple cider old fashioned to get through these chilly months. Full of apple spice, rich dark brown sugar and touch of orange, this seasonal old fashioned brings all your favorite fall flavors together and takes only minutes to whip up. Grab a spot by the fire with this apple cider bourbon cocktail in hand and you’re in for one cozy evening.
Why You'll Love This Recipe
Perfect for relaxing: When you're in the mood for a leisurely sipper, nothing satisfies that craving like a good old fashioned. Sometimes it's nice to stick to the classic recipe, but with these crisp autumn days, we could all use something with a little extra warming power. Enter our apple cider addition.
Tastes like fall in a glass: With the apple cider’s cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger and allspice, we get a punch of spice that makes for the perfect warming cocktail. I don’t know about you, but once October hits, I basically enter a permanent state of cold until about April, so a warming cocktail works wonders on my body.
Simple and quick to make: No complicated bartending skills required here. You'll be sipping the perfect fall cocktail in no time.
Let's get to sipping. Here are a few notes about our apple cider old fashioned ingredients.
Bourbon: For the bourbon, I recommend a high-quality yet reasonably priced bourbon. Bad, cheap bourbon will wreck you, but with the apple cider, bitters, orange peel and dark brown sugar, we’re adding enough extra ingredients that we don't want to mask something like a Pappy Van Winkle. Makers Mark, Elijah Craig and Four Roses are some delicious options.
Apple cider: Specifically, we want to use a spiced apple cider to get those cozy fall flavors. You can use store-bought or homemade apple cider. And, of course, fresh apple cider straight from the orchard is always welcome.
Dark brown sugar: A classic old fashioned uses white sugar, but the brown sugar is lovely with the apple cider. I prefer dark brown sugar for the extra dose of molasses, but light brown sugar will work.
Bitters: I love using orange bitters here, which pair perfectly with the apple cider spice, but you can substitute traditional angostura bitters. Other varieties would work nicely too — think black walnut, ginger or cloves bitters.
Large ice cube: While standard ice cubes work fine, but I prefer using one large ice cube. A good old fashioned is a slow sipper, so with one large ice cube, we don’t have to worry about the ice melting too quickly and diluting our drink.
OK, we're all thirsty. Let’s start bartending.
With an old fashioned, we can build the drink directly in our serving glass, or we can use a mixing glass. The mixing glass is convenient if you’re making old fashioneds for a crowd but don’t feel like it’s necessary.
Step 1: We add a teaspoon of dark brown sugar with a few dashes of bitters, a bar spoonful of water and an orange peel slice to the glass (photo 1).
Step 2: Now we muddle everything until the sugar smooths out (photo 2).
Step 3: From here, we add our bourbon of choice, apple cider and ice.
Step 4: Now we stir our old fashioned for about 15 seconds — just enough to chill it (photo 4). We don’t want to dilute this cocktail, and too much stirring does just that.
If using a mixing glass, we strain the cocktail into our serving glass, and we’re ready to sip the night away. Tasty, huh?
Oh, and if you love this cocktail, don't miss my spiced apple cider martini. After all, you can't have too many fall cocktails.
Look no further than my apple cider pot roast, friends! Bourbon is a great choice with roasted meat —- it’s bold enough to stand up to that hearty cut, and the caramel notes from the bourbon pair perfectly from the caramelization of the beef. And, of course, the spices between the two are a natural match.
Or maybe you'd like to serve this delicious apple-bourbon cocktail with dessert. You can't go wrong with apple shortcakes or apple spice cupcakes to stay with the apple theme, or this caramel popcorn is delightful with the bourbon.
When only the coziest cocktail will do, I hope you try this apple cider old fashioned. It's the perfect apple cocktail for the fall.
Need More Fall Cocktails?
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Apple Cider Old Fashioned
- Jigger or small measuring cup
- Bar spoon
- Mixing glass or old fashioned glass
- 1 orange peel slice
- 1 teaspoon dark brown sugar
- 2-4 dashes orange bitters
- 1 bar spoonful of water about 1 teaspoon
- 2 ounces spiced apple cider homemade or store-bought
- 2 ounces bourbon
- In a mixing glass or old fashioned glass, add the orange peel slice and dark brown sugar. Sprinkle a few dashes of bitters on top as well as the bar spoonful of water.
- Muddle until the dark brown sugar smooths out.
- Pour in the apple cider and bourbon. Add ice.
- Stir for 15 seconds. If using a mixing glass, strain into an old fashioned glass and add ice. Enjoy!
- For the ice, I prefer to serve with one large ice cube rather than your typical smaller ice cubes to prevent dilution. You can find molds on Amazon.
- If using a mixing glass, I generally stir with those typical smaller ice cubes, and then I add one large ice cube after straining into the old fashioned glass.
- Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.