Spiced Apple Cider Whisky Sour

Spiced Cider Apple Whisky Sour with Homemade Cinnamon Simple Syrup - BoulderLocavore.com

I think my love of summer cocktails is closely rivaled by my love for cocktails in the fall.  Much like food changes with the seasons, cocktails do too, at least for me.  Deeper flavors and stronger spices generally find their way into the cocktail shaker warming one’s insides as well as setting a cozy ambiance for fall food and drink.

Apples are in season in the fall which many may not realize being able to find them year round.  Despite ready availability, thanks to international food transportation, apple varieties and flavor are the best in the fall.  I find this to be true with most fruits which have a natural season such as tomatoes and strawberries; once you’ve had one grown in its natural season, the forced out of season flavors simply don’t compare.

Spiced Cider Apple Whisky Sour with Homemade Cinnamon Simple Syrup - BoulderLocavore.com

We love to apple pick in the fall, both at farms and I took a turn at urban foraging (which made me feel extremely guilty and worried I’d be arrested; you can read about my apple urban foraging experience here).  In addition to apple flavors, if you have not had freshly pressed apple cider in the fall you must seek it out at all costs!  It has a wonderful fresh, sweet taste that is irresistible.  I try to buy it often and it usually will be found in the refrigerated section often with the produce.  We love to substitute it for water when making hot cereal which then doesn’t require any added sweeteners for the sweetness of the cider.

A few years ago I spent a weekend in Vail, Colorado, with some other journalists on a fall culinary adventure.  Part of that was exploring restaurants and one outcome was a post sharing four fall cocktail recipes.  They have been a huge hit and have made their way around Pinterest a few thousand times.  It seemed like a good time to share a new one: Spiced Apple Cider Whisky Sour.

Spiced Cider Apple Whisky Sour with Homemade Cinnamon Simple Syrup - BoulderLocavore.com

This thirst quenching sipper uses spiced apple cider, bourbon as well as Homemade Cinnamon Simple Syrup.  Simple syrup is very, well, simple to make at home, as well as to make a variety of flavors.  This recipe offers a bright flavor without being Red Hot spicy.  It would be a great seasonal addition of many cocktails!

Spiced Apple Cider Whisky Sour cocktail with Homemade Cinnamon Simple Syrup - BoulderLocavore.com

Spiced Apple Cider Whisky Sour with Homemade Cinnamon Simple Syrup

Yield: Makes 1 1/4 cups Cinnamon Simple Syrup; 2 cocktails


    Ingredients for Cinnamon Simple Syrup:
  • 1 cup Water
  • 1 cup Granulated Sugar
  • 1 Cinnamon Stick
  • Ingredients for Spiced Apple Cider Whisky Sour (makes 2 cocktails):
  • 4 ounces Bourbon (I used Maker’s Mark)
  • 4 ounces Spiced Apple Cider
  • ½ ounce Lemon Juice (preferably freshly squeezed)
  • 1 ounce Cinnamon Simple Syrup
  • 4 dashes of Orange Bitters


    Instructions for Cinnamon Simple Syrup:
  1. Combine the water and sugar in a small sauce pan over medium heat. Allow the mixture to come to a boil, stirring constantly to allow the sugar to dissolve. Boil 3 minutes and remove from heat.
  2. Add the cinnamon stick and allow to fully cool. Discard cinnamon stick and keep the syrup sealed in the refrigerator.
  3. Instructions for Spiced Apple Cider Whisky Sour:
  4. Combine the bourbon, apple cider, lemon juice, simple syrup and bitters in a shaker (or a quart size Mason jar) with ice. Seal and shake vigorously.
  5. Strain into 2 Old Fashioned/Rocks glasses with fresh ice. Garnish with an apple slice if desired.


  1. Robin (Masshole Mommy) says

    I need to make a couple of these for my husband and me one of these nights. It sounds like an awesome drink!

  2. Colleen Cayes says

    Just looking at these images lifts my spirits! I’m appreciating the aesthetics of this drink even though it’s morning and I’m only having coffee so far. Beautiful and tasty, just right for Fall entertaining. I’m forwarding it to my realtor neighbors in Santa Fe as well. No telling how many new friends they could make with this!

  3. Pam says

    This sounds like a perfect fall cocktail. I agree that apples are best in the fall! We love to go to the local mountains and visit the apple farms there.

  4. says

    Now that looks like the perfect drink for a mom’s night IN 🙂 I love this idea. Apple Cider is definitely the flavor of fall this year.

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