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

Apple Dumpling Cocktail

The apple dumpling cocktail recipe combines bourbon with a fizzy hard cider which makes it a delicious, refreshing and slightly sweet drink. With a few simple ingredients, you can make this drink for any occasion but it really is a fall favorite.
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


  • 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



  • 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


Helpful tips
  • There are so many flavored hard ciders out and my advice is to stick to the non-flavored kind. And by that I mean real hard apple cider.
  • Buy the best liquor you can afford as I do believe there is a taste difference in higher quality liquor like Rabbit Hole. Want to learn more about bourbon and whiskey? Read my comprehensive guide here.
  • I find bourbon on the sweet side and hard cider either has added sugar or is naturally sweet because it's made with apples. So, with that said, I decided to use just a little simple syrup. Start with the amount I use in the recipe, taste it and if you want it sweeter, add by the ¼ ounce until it is like how you taste.
  • I am making this drink with a cocktail shaker because it's a nice sized receptacle, but I am not shaking this drink before I divide it between the glasses. The reason why is because the hard cider is fizzy and would cause the liquid to bubble over the shaker. Use a cocktail spoon to stir the ingredients with the ice.
  • 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.
  • Since I am using the apple skin as garnish, make sure to wash your apples well before cutting into the skin. Apples are listed in the top 12 high pesticide ridden fruit. Here's how I wash my fruit and vegetables: Use a un-scented, 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.
  • This is optional: I use one star anise in each cocktail but you can omit this.
  • I use 2 double old fashioned glasses for this cocktail but you can use a rocks or Collins glass.
  • Any aromatic bitters brands will work with this cocktail. I love to use the Woodford Reserve brand but other good choices are Angostura and Peychaud.


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