This Apple Cinnamon Bourbon cocktail is all about the fall flavors. With tons of flavor coming from a honeycrisp apple and cinnamon infusion, plus fresh apple cider, it can't be beat on an autumn afternoon. Using a crisp baked apple slice as a garnish gives it a beautifully rustic look.
One of my favorite traditions in my family is when we go apple picking. Have you ever been to one of those "U-Pick" apple orchards? It's so much fun, and we always end up with about 10 pounds more apples than we actually need!
Besides making lots of apple pie filling with the apples, you can also buy fresh apple cider at these farmstands, which makes for some amazing cocktails.
If you're looking for more apple cider goodness, check out one of my other cocktails, Hot Apple Cider with Rum. It actually uses apple cider concentrate, although fresh cider would give it a whole new spin. A splash of apple cider would also be a wonderful addition to the Bees Knees cocktail.
For this cocktail, I used my homemade Apple Cinnamon Infused Vodka, which I made using honeycrisp apples. Depending on what's available at your local liquor store, you might be able to get your hands on a pre-made infusion, like the one made by Infuse Spirits. Here's what you'll need, although check out the Substitutions section if you don't have an ingredient on hand:
- Apple Cinnamon infused vodka
- Golden Falernum liqueur
- Fresh apple cider (I happened to find honeycrisp apple cider!)
- Baked apple chip (optional garnish)
I know there are a couple of specialty items in this drink, so here are some substitutes that would work in a pinch:
- Apple Cinnamon Infused Vodka - if you don't have this around, but what I'd suggest instead is to omit it, and replace it with more bourbon. Then, when you serve it, add a few apple slices and a cinnamon stick to the serving glass. You'll still get lots of great flavor from the cider, and having the ingredients in the glass will give a wonderful aroma.
- Bourbon - you can use any whiskey, or dark rum instead.
- Golden Falernum - this is a spiced liqueur with flavors of lime, ginger, and allspice. There isn't really a direct substitute, but if you don't have it, increase the bourbon by a quarter ounce (about 7 milliliters) and add in some extra cider.
- Fresh apple cider - if apple cider is out of season or you just can't find it, you can always get your hands on some boiled cider, also known as apple cider concentrate. Be sure to dilute it before using in this cocktail!
There are a few ways to change this recipe up to make a whole different drink! Here are a few:
- Fizzy - use a larger glass and add in an ounce or two of seltzer. For an added kick, try a ginger-flavored seltzer!
- Lemon - add in a half ounce of freshly squeezed lemon juice. This will balance out some of the sweetness and make it super refreshing!
- Orange Cranberry - Instead of the Golden Falernum, add in some Triple Sec, and also add in a splash of cranberry juice.
- Warm - this is a great cocktail served warm. Just heat up the apple cider and mix it with the rest of the room-temperature ingredients.
You'll need a cocktail shaker and strainer, plus a jigger, or a small measuring cup.
The serving glass I used was this gold goblet, which holds about 8 ounces of liquid. I used a larger glass so there'd be room for ice.
This is a pretty simple cocktail to make. Start by gathering all of your ingredients together along with your cocktail shaker. Get your cocktail serving glass ready to go, and your garnish too.
Add the apple cinnamon vodka, bourbon, Golden Falernum and apple cider. Add ice to the cocktail shaker and shake it up well, about 15-20 times.
Add fresh ice to your cocktail glass, and strain the drink over top of the ice. If you don't have one of the cute clippy things I used, or a mini clothespin, just lay the apple chip on top of the drink. Serve before the ice melts!
This drink is wonderful for batching. Just mix together everything in proportion in a pitcher, and add in a quarter ounce of water per drink. So for example, for four drinks, multiply everything by 4 (you can use the handy multiplier in the recipe below!) and then add in one more ounce of water. Store in a pitcher in the fridge until you're ready to serve.
Baked Apple Chips
To garnish this drink, wanted to incorporate the look of a crunchy baked apple slice. A fresh apple would be great here also, but a dried one really makes me think of the fall season!
In order to make these chips, I sliced an apple into as thin slices as possible. (Honestly, my slices were really thick because my knives need sharpening!) You can use a mandoline for this if you have one. Then lay out the slices flat on a baking sheet. If you want, sprinkle with some cinnamon.
Place in a 200°F (93°C) oven for an hour, and then flip them over and bake for another hour. If they're not totally crunchy, flip again and bake for another hour. Keep going until they're truly crispy and dry. The baking time all depends on how thick your slices are.
You can also make these in a dehydrator, although I don't have one. Let me know in the comments if you've tried a dehydrator for apple chips!
I used one of these little gold clips to hold the apple on, but it also works well just to float it on top!
Apple Cinnamon Bourbon Cocktail
- 1 ounce apple cinnamon infused vodka
- ¾ ounces bourbon
- ½ ounce Golden Falernum
- 2 ounces fresh apple cider
- baked or fresh apple slice for garnish optional
- Add the apple cinnamon vodka, bourbon, Golden Falernum and apple cider to the cocktail shaker.
- Fill the shaker with ice and shake well, about 15-20 times.
- Add fresh ice to your serving glass and strain the drink into the glass.
- Add your garnish, and serve immediately.