Apple Dumpling Cocktail

This apple dumpling cocktail recipe is slightly sweet and oh-so-refreshing for a fall favorite that works in any season. All you need is bourbon, hard cider, aromatic bitters, and simple syrup to bring this delicious whiskey cocktail to life!

Vertical view of the apple cocktail in glasses with apple skin twist and star anisePin

The apple dumpling cocktail it is not only delicious but quite refreshing. This drink is not just for the holiday season, but it suits anytime of the year. If you can get hard apple cider, you can make this delicious, lip-smacking cocktail.

Looking around for a new bourbon cocktail to add to my repertoire this fall, I was intrigued with the name of this one because who doesn’t love apple dumplings? I’m also a fan of hard cider and, here in New England, it’s a great time of year for all things apple, including cider.

(Mind you, this cocktail doesn’t taste like an apple dumpling. Few cocktails named for food items actually do taste like their inspirations, but I have found a couple that do. If you haven’t tried my chocolate covered cherry shot or the after eight shot, you simply must. These two live up to the promise implied in their names.)

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Want to learn more about bourbon? Click here to read my complete guide on all things whiskey.

Helpful tips

  • Being something of a purist with a strong preference to control the flavors in her cocktails, my advice is to avoid flavored hard ciders. Stick to the non-flavored kind instead. And by that I mean, buy real hard apple cider.
  • Buy the best liquor you can afford as I do believe there is a taste difference in higher quality brands like Rabbit Hole. Want to learn more about bourbon and whiskey? Read my comprehensive guide here. And a fun fact, Rabbit Hole also has vodka and gin. I look forward to trying them.
  • I find bourbon on the sweet side and hard cider either has added sugar or is naturally sweet from the apples, so I suggest using just a little simple syrup. Start with the amount I give in the recipe and taste the mix. If you want a sweeter drink, add simple syrup a 1/4 ounce at a time until you’re satisfied.
  • Because my cocktail shaker is such a handy size, I often use it to mix cocktails I do not intend to shake. Hard cider is fizzy, so shaking would cause the liquid to bubble over. Use a cocktail spoon to stir the ingredients with the ice before dividing between the glasses.
  • I use a channeling knife to cut an apple skin twist, but if you’d rather, you can add a slice of apple to the cocktail as garnish.
  • If you do use the apple skin as garnish, make sure to wash the apple well before cutting into the skin. Apples are listed among the top 12 fruits with the highest pesticide residues. Here’s how I wash my fruit and vegetables: Use a unscented, natural, foaming hand soap (I get mine from Whole Foods). Squirt some soap in your hand and thoroughly rub the soap over the skin. Next take a vegetable brush and brush the skin. Rinse the fruit under cold water, making sure to get the soap off the fruit.
  • For an optional garnish, I like to use one star anise in each cocktail but you can omit this.
  • I don’t do it here but if you want to garnish the glass with a combination of cinnamon and brown sugar. Just wet the rim of the glasses with a little cider before dipping it in the spice mix.
  • I prefer my double old fashioned glasses for this cocktail, but you can use rocks or Collins glasses, too.
  • Any aromatic bitters brand will work with this cocktail. I enjoy the Woodford Reserve brand but other good choices are Angostura and Peychaud.

How to make an apple dumpling cocktail

Pre-step

Get your cocktail shaker and fill it halfway with ice. Also get a measuring glass, and serving glasses.

Either use a channeling knife or vegetable peeler to cut a thin strip of apple skin for garnish. Set aside 2 strips and get 2 star anise.

Step one

Gather the ingredients – bourbon, hard cider, aromatic bitters, and simple syrup.

Bourbon, hard cider, bitters and simple syrup on a wood tablePin

Step two

Measure 4 ounces of bourbon. (A)

Step three

Measure 4 ounces hard cider. (B)

Bourbon and hard cider measured outPin

Step four

Add 10 drops of bitters. (C)

Step five

Measure .50 ounce of simple syrup.

Aromatic bitters bottle and simple syrup measured outPin

Step six

Use a cocktail spoon and stir the ingredients together with the ice. You don’t want to shake it since the cider is fizzy.

Step seven

Add fresh ice to the glasses. I use big ice cubes I make with this tray. Strain and divide the cocktail between the glasses.

Step eight

Garnish each glass with one star anise and an apple skin twist.

A double old fashioned glass with the amber cocktail in it with a star anise floatingPin

Yum.

Apple cocktail in a glass with an apple skin and star anisePin

And an overhead shot, because why not?

Overhead view of the apple cocktail with a big ice cube and star anise floatingPin

I hope you enjoyed this apple dumpling cocktail recipe. It’s refreshing and delicious! Wait till you try it.

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

If you’ve tried this recipe, I’d love the know 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!

Two old fashioned glasses filled with an apple cocktail with star anise and apple twist in itPin

Apple Dumpling Cocktail

This apple dumpling cocktail recipe is slightly sweet and oh-so-refreshing for a fall favorite that works in any season. All you need is bourbon, hard cider, aromatic bitters, and simple syrup to bring this delicious whiskey cocktail to life!
5 from 12 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Cocktail
Cuisine: American
Keyword: apple cocktails, apple dumpling cocktail, cocktails made with cider
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Servings: 2 cocktails
Calories: 200kcal

Ingredients

  • 4 ounces bourbon (I used Rabbit Hole)
  • 4 ounces hard cider (no flavors, just the one made with apple cider)
  • 10 drops aromatic bitters
  • .50 ounce simple syrup

Garnish

Instructions

  • Fill the cocktail shaker halfway with ice and get out your cocktail spoon as you are not going to shake this cocktail. You will stir it.
  • Add bourbon, hard cider, bitters, and simple syrup.
    4 ounces bourbon, 4 ounces hard cider, 10 drops aromatic bitters, .50 ounce simple syrup
  • Take the cocktail spoon and stir the mixture for at least 10 seconds.
  • Add fresh ice cubes to the glasses. Strain and divide the liquid into the glasses.
  • Add a star anise and apple skin twist to each glass.
    2 long apple skin twists, 2 star anise
  • Sip
  • Smile
  • Enjoy
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Notes

Helpful tips
  • Being something of a purist with a strong preference to control the flavors in her cocktails, my advice is to avoid flavored hard ciders. Stick to the non-flavored kind instead. And by that I mean, buy real hard apple cider.
  • Buy the best liquor you can afford as I do believe there is a taste difference in higher quality brands like Rabbit Hole. Want to learn more about bourbon and whiskey? Read my comprehensive guide here. And a fun fact, Rabbit Hole also has vodka and gin. I look forward to trying them.
  • I find bourbon on the sweet side and hard cider either has added sugar or is naturally sweet from the apples, so I suggest using just a little simple syrup. Start with the amount I give in the recipe and taste the mix. If you want a sweeter drink, add simple syrup a 1/4 ounce at a time until you’re satisfied.
  • Because my cocktail shaker is such a handy size, I often use it to mix cocktails I do not intend to shake. Hard cider is fizzy, so shaking would cause the liquid to bubble over. Use a cocktail spoon to stir the ingredients with the ice before dividing between the glasses.
  • I use a channeling knife to cut an apple skin twist, but if you’d rather, you can add a slice of apple to the cocktail as garnish.
  • If you do use the apple skin as garnish, make sure to wash the apple well before cutting into the skin. Apples are listed among the top 12 fruits with the highest pesticide residues. Here’s how I wash my fruit and vegetables: Use a unscented, natural, foaming hand soap (I get mine from Whole Foods). Squirt some soap in your hand and thoroughly rub the soap over the skin. Next take a vegetable brush and brush the skin. Rinse the fruit under cold water, making sure to get the soap off the fruit.
  • For an optional garnish, I like to use one star anise in each cocktail but you can omit this.
  • I don’t do it here but if you want to garnish the glass with a combination of cinnamon and brown sugar. Just wet the rim of the glasses with a little cider before dipping it in the spice mix.
  • I prefer my double old fashioned glasses for this cocktail, but you can use rocks or Collins glasses, too.
  • Any aromatic bitters brand will work with this cocktail. I enjoy the Woodford Reserve brand but other good choices are Angostura and Peychaud.
  • Β 

Nutrition

Serving: 1cocktail | Calories: 200kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 7mg | Potassium: 20mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 3IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 7mg | Iron: 1mg
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Recipe Rating




22 Comments

  1. We tried this apple dumpling cocktail, and I just had to come back to comment. It is heavenly.
    This one goes into our all-time favorites cocktail collection. Thank you so much for sharing it.

  2. I’m going to be trying out this recipe for Thanksgiving with some family members, we’ve got a couple bourbon drinkers. I’m even going to try your recommendation for the Rabbit Hole brand!

  3. This cocktail is very refreshing and perfect for fall! I ended up using cardamom bitters for extra fall flavor.