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Apple Cider Bourbon Smash

This apple cider bourbon smash is a dreamy cocktail recipe that comes together with just three ingredients. It’s the perfect festive drink to serve all season long!

Vertical view of the beveled glass with the bourbon smash with cinnamon, apple and thyme

Hard Liquor

Bourbon, oh, how I love thee. That wasn’t always the truth. In fact, my nose used to crinkle at the thought of sipping it.

But then I aged, just like a good barrel of bourbon.

And now I love the flavor of this liquor. My favorite bourbon cocktail is a Manhattan but this apple cider bourbon smash recipe is rising in the ranks, and I look forward October and November when I can get good, fresh apple cider.

It’s such a fun drink that combines great ingredients to make the best holiday cocktail! Try it at your next Thanksgiving gathering.

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Helpful tips

  • Muddlers come in handy when you are crafting cocktails. But if you don’t have one, you can use the back of a wooden spoon to extract the juice and the zest from a lemon.
  • Do you like regular whiskey better than bourbon? Just make an apple cider whiskey smash by substituting the same amount of whiskey for bourbon.
  • Apple cider is sweet, so there is no need to use a sweetener. Try the recipe as written and if you find it needs some sweetener, only add 1/4 ounce of either simple syrup, maple syrup, or honey.
  • I like to use fresh herbs for garnish. My two favorites are thyme and mint, but basil is another great choice.
  • For the apple garnish, you can use any apple you prefer but my favorites are Macintosh, Honeycrisp, Fuji, and Granny Smith apples.
A glass on a board filled with the apple drink with a sliver of apple, cinnamon stick, and herbs
Photo Credit: Dishes Delish.

How to make the apple cider bourbon smash

Pre-step

Get a cocktail shaker, a measuring glass, muddler and double old fashioned glasses.

With a sharp knife, cut a thin apple slice from the equator of an apple, cut in half and then cut out the seeds and the core. Set it aside for garnish along with two cinnamon sticks.

After measuring out the ingredients, pour them into the cocktail shaker.

Step one

Gather the ingredients – bourbon, apple cider and lemon. (A)

Step two

Cut the lemon in half and then cut each half in quarters. You will end up with 8 wedges. (B)

Left - bourbon, apple cider, lemon, and an apple. Right - cut up lemon on a plate with lemon in the back

Step three

Add the lemon to the shaker and muddle the wedges for at least 2 minutes. You want to extract as much of the fresh lemon juice and zest from the skins as you can. Look at it all! (C)

Step four

Measure out 4 ounces of bourbon. (D)

Left - a glass cocktail shaker with lemon muddled. Right - bourbon measured out

Step five

Measure 5 ounces of apple cider. (E)

That’s one robust-looking cocktail. (F)

Apple cider measured out and the ingredients in the shaker

Step seven

Add fresh ice to the glasses. I use big ice cubes.

Add 1 cup of ice to the shaker, cap it and shake vigorously for 20 seconds. Strain, divide and pour the drink between the two glasses.

Step eight

Add a half slice of apple and one cinnamon stick to each glass. I also add fresh thyme sprigs to each glass, but that is optional.

two glasses with the apple cider bourbon smash with apples, lemon and cinnamon sticks in them

Let’s take a closer look at the bourbon whiskey apple cider cocktail. (That’s a mouthful, isn’t it?)

A table with fruit on it with two glasses of the apple cider cocktail

And the other glass.

A glass on a wooden board filled with the apple bourbon smash with more apples and lemons

Here’s the vertical view of this delicious cocktail.

Double old fashioned glass filled with the lemon, apple cider and bourbon, with apple, cinnamon and thyme as garnish

I hope you enjoyed this apple cider bourbon smash cocktail recipe. It’s so delicious.

Other bourbon recipes

And as always, may all your dishes/drinks be delish!

If you’ve tried this or any other recipe on the blog, I’d love the hear what you thought about it in the comments below.  I love hearing from you!  You can also FOLLOW ME on FACEBOOKTWITTERINSTAGRAM and PINTEREST  to see more of my delicious food and delightful cocktails!

Square photo of a wood board with an apple cider drink in a glass

Apple Cider Bourbon Smash

This apple cider bourbon smash is a dreamy cocktail recipe that comes together with just 3 ingredients. It’s the perfect festive drink to serve all season long!
5 from 18 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Cocktails
Cuisine: Cocktails
Keyword: apple cider bourbon smash, bourbon smash
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Servings: 2 cocktails
Calories: 179kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 lemon (cut in half then each half in quarters. You will end up with eight pieces)
  • 4 ounces bourbon
  • 5 ounces apple cider

Garnish

  • 1 slice apple wheel (thinly sliced – seeds removed and cut in half)
  • 2 cinnamon stick

Optional

  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme

Instructions

Make it!

  • Place lemon wedges (8) in the cocktail shaker and muddle for at least 2 minutes. You want to extract as much lemon juice as you can and bruise the skin for the zest.
    1 lemon
  • Add bourbon and apple cider.
    4 ounces bourbon, 5 ounces apple cider
  • Fill the cocktail shaker halfway with ice, cap it and shake it at least 20 seconds.
  • Add fresh ice to glasses. Strain, divide and pour the liquid into the glasses. Add 2 lemon wedges to each glass.
  • Place two slices of apple in each glass along with 1 cinnamon stick and 2 sprigs of thyme.
    1 slice apple wheel, 2 cinnamon stick, 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • Sip
  • Smile
  • Enjoy
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Notes

Helpful tips
  • Muddlers come in handy when you are crafting cocktails. But if you don’t have one, you can use the back of a wooden spoon to extract the juice and the zest from a lemon.
  • Do you like regular whiskey better than bourbon? Just make an apple cider whiskey smash by substituting the same amount of whiskey for bourbon.
  • Apple cider is sweet, so there is no need to use a sweetener. Try the recipe as written and if you find it needs some sweetener, only add 1/4 ounce of either simple syrup, maple syrup, or honey.
  • I like to use fresh herbs for garnish. My two favorites are thyme and mint, but basil is another great choice.
  • For the apple garnish, you can use any apple you prefer but my favorites are Macintosh, Honeycrisp, Fuji, and Granny Smith apples.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cocktail | Calories: 179kcal | Carbohydrates: 13g | Sodium: 4mg | Potassium: 146mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin C: 28.6mg | Calcium: 14mg | Iron: 0.3mg
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From lighting up stages with her BA in theater to food journalist, Elaine Benoit's journey is a testament to passion's transformative power. As the CEO of Dishes Delish, she offers a blend of healthy, comforting recipes and exquisitely crafted cocktails. Beyond the kitchen, Elaine voiced her culinary adventures on her podcast, "Dishing," and co-owns Food Blogger Help, extending her expertise to guide budding food bloggers to success. Whether it's for a heartwarming dish or insights into food blogging, Elaine's diverse experiences make her a beacon in the culinary digital landscape.

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32 Comments

  1. I have only recently discovered that I actually like bourbon. Last year for Christmas I got a nice bourbon decanter for my boyfriend because it’s definitely his drink of choice! We are going to love trying out this cocktail 🙂

  2. Nice recipe! I want to gobble those apples up right after I finish that drink. Looks like the perfect holiday cocktail. Thank you for sharing!

  3. This is such a gorgeous cocktail, Elaine! Perfect for this time of year! I just recently tried bourbon again and I really like it! I’ll have to give this a try!

  4. This sounds delicious! My hubby makes apple pie moonshine, and I love that, so I know I’d really enjoy this too. I don’t know if it was bourbon, but I was allowed to have a whiskey drink on New Year’s Eve when I was growing up.

  5. That was quite a mix of alcohol you had back in the day Elaine! I bet you didn’t do that more than once ???? This looks lovely and definitely one I’ll try one weekend soon ????

  6. This is my kind of cocktail. Love that it’s super easy to make with simple ingredients. Looking forward to sipping on one of these again next to the fire.

  7. What a fun fall cocktail! We are having friends over for dinner tomorrow night and I’m totally going to make this for them!

  8. Awesome! This drink recipe looks delicious and tasty! Just looking at it, makes me refreshed and entice with it! I would definitely make this at home!

  9. YUM! I’m a bourbon girl, and this apple cider and bourbon cocktail looks perfect for fall! I can’t wait to try it…

  10. This sounds likes a great fall drink! I am a huge apple cider fan, so the idea of adding bourbon to the mix sounds delicious!

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