A White Lady cocktail is a classic sour, gin cocktail that is made with gin, cointreau, fresh lemon juice and an egg white. It’s a shaken drink that’s easy to make and perfect for sipping any time of the year! This classic cocktail is smoot…
A White Lady cocktail is a classic sour, gin cocktail that is made with gin, cointreau, fresh lemon juice and an egg white. It’s a shaken drink that’s easy to make and perfect for sipping any time of the year! This classic cocktail is smooth and has a refreshing citrus flavor. The egg white gives it […]
This hot spiked apple cider recipe hits all the cozy notes! Rum or bourbon perfectly complement the cinnamon, cloves, and star anise.
There’s nothing better than a warm drink in hand when the weather is chilly. Here’s a classic that’s required for fall, in our opinion: Hot Spiked Apple Cider! There’s something about the combination of sweet cinnamon and cloves with the subtle spicy finish of rum or bourbon that’s absolutely soul warming. The liquor melds seamlessly into the hot cider, making a smooth sip and a cozy finish. This recipe has just the right balance of spices with alcohol: and a side benefit: it makes your kitchen smell like a fall candle.
What’s in this spiked apple cider recipe?
Apple cider is a drink that’s been around for thousands of years, dating back to the Romans in 55 BC! This spiked apple cider recipe is simmered with mulling spices, then combined with bourbon or rum for a tasty finish. Here are the ingredients you’ll need:
High-quality apple cider, preferably from your farmers market or local orchard. Look for unfiltered cider, which maintains the best flavor and color. If you’re in a time crunch and want to make your life super easy, you can always buy a pre-spiced apple cider and add rum to that.
Whole spices: cinnamon, cloves, and star anise. Make sure to use the whole versions of these spices, not ground, which is key to getting the best flavor. Star anise is the most unique of these spices to the American kitchen: it should be available at most grocery stores or you can buy star anise online.
How to make spiced apple cider: basic method
Making this hot spiked apple cider recipe is incredibly easy: all you need is time! Here are the basic steps:
Toast the spices: Toast the spices for a few minutes on the stovetop. This releases their fragrance (and makes your kitchen smell amazing).
Simmer: Add the apple cider and heat until warmed through, about 30 minutes. You can also use a slow cooker or Instant Pot: see below.
Filter: You’ll notice that particulate rises to the top of the cider while it’s cooking. Use a fine mesh strainer or sieve to strain it off (or you can pour it through a strainer into another pot).
Spike it: Add the rum or bourbon all at once, or add about 2 ounces to each 1 cup serving. Spiking each drink separately lets you serve both non-alcoholic hot cider and spiked cider at the same time!
Serving spiked apple cider for a party
Here are a few tips if you plan on serving this warming drink at a party!
Double or triple it: You’ll need to use a larger pot to accommodate.
Consider Crockpot or Instant Pot: Using a slow cooker to keep the spiked cider warm is great for parties. Head to our Slow Cooker Apple Cider.
Spike the drinks individually: When you’re serving a crowd, it’s nice to have the flexibility to spike the cider for each person individually. Then the drink works for both kids and adults.
Use bourbon or rum
What’s the best alcohol to use for a spiked apple cider recipe? Rum or bourbon are the best choices. Any type of rum works: white rum, aged rum, or dark rum (aged or dark will add more flavor complexity with vanilla and oak notes). Any type of bourbon works as well! The rum melds more seamlessly into the flavor of cider, making it our top choice. Bourbon is a close second, and has a slightly more prominent flavor on the finish.
Mulling spices are simple to make and make wonderful holiday gifts. Use mulled wine spices to make a festive holiday drink that creates the most beautiful fragrance throughout your home. These spices can be used for wine, brandy or as mulled cider spic…
Mulling spices are simple to make and make wonderful holiday gifts. Use mulled wine spices to make a festive holiday drink that creates the most beautiful fragrance throughout your home. These spices can be used for wine, brandy or as mulled cider spices. When we think about fall drinks, maybe pumpkin spice lattes are the […]
This mulled wine recipe is easy and classic, starring a bold red, mulling spices, brandy and orange. The ideal cozy drink for a crowd!
When the first chill starts to fill the air, it’s time for cozy drink season! What better way to start the fun than a great Mulled Wine? Make up a big pot, and it fills your kitchen with an intoxicating aroma of toasted allspice and cinnamon. This recipe is just sweet enough, balancing the bold fruity wine with mulling spices, citrus, and oak and vanilla notes on the finish. It’s truly stunning: a classic recipe for all your fall and winter occasions!
What is mulled wine?
Mulled wine is wine that’s heated with spices. It’s typically served in the fall and winter, especially around Christmastime. The first recorded spiced wine recipe was in Rome in the 2nd Century AD! Today it’s very popular in the UK and across Europe, as well as the US. It’s called Glühwein in German-speaking countries and Glögg in Nordic countries.
Mulled wine spices
Mulled wine is made with mulling spices, which infuse the entire drink with that signature cozy flavor. (The same style of spices are used in Mulled Cider.) Typically a mulled wine is simmered with whole spices instead of ground, so the flavor infuses into the wine instead of making it cloudy. There are lots of variations on the spices depending on your country and tradition. Common mulled wine spices include:
Star anise is the most unique of these mulled wine spices: it’s a star-shaped seed pod. It’s available at most grocery stores, but you can also buy star anise online.
How to make mulled wine: stovetop, slow cooker or Instant Pot
You can make mulled wine using various methods: our favorite is the stovetop because it’s quick and easy! But if you’re serving a crowd at a party, a slow cooker or Instant Pot are great options. Here are the three methods of how to make mulled wine:
Stovetop method: The quickest method, at only 30 minutes! Just make sure it stays on the lowest warming setting: it shouldn’t even come to a simmer (otherwise the liquid reduces too much).
Slow cooker method: This method takes 2 hours and is great for parties! You can leave it on the warm setting and serve it right out of the Crock Pot.
Instant Pot method: Use this version if you have a pressure cooker instead of a slow cooker!
Tips to the best mulled wine recipe
A good mulled wine is one thing: but a truly great mulled wine has a few tricks to take the flavor over the top! Here’s are a few tips for how to make the best version of this drink:
Toast the spices first. Toasting the spices for a few minutes in the pot or a skillet helps to release even more of their flavor during the simmering time. Plus, it makes your kitchen smell incredible!
Simmer very low. You barely want it to be bubbling. If it’s too high, the liquid will reduce and get too thick.
Add brandy and orange juice at the end. Do this instead of simmering them with the wine. It brings in major oak, vanilla and citrus notes to the finish of each sip.
Make a double recipe for party size
This mulled wine recipe uses one 750 ml bottle of wine, and makes enough for 6 servings of ¾ cup each. Serving a crowd? We’d recommend grabbing two bottles of wine and doubling this recipe. A doubled or even tripled recipe would fit in a Slow Cooker or Instant Pot. Use the 2x button in the recipe below for easy doubling.
This mulled wine recipe is easy and classic, starring a bold red, mulling spices, brandy and orange. The ideal cozy drink for a crowd!
10 allspice berries
10 whole cloves
3 star anise pods
3 cinnamon sticks
1 750 ml bottle dry red wine*
½ cup water
¼ cup maple syrup or honey
¼ cup brandy or Cognac
1 small orange, for garnish
Toast the spices: Add the spices to the bottom of a pot (or to a skillet for Slow Cooker or Instant Pot). Toast over medium heat for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring occasionally, until fragrant.
Stovetop cooking instructions: Turn the heat to low. Add the water, then pour in the wine and maple syrup and stir. Warm for 30 minutes on low heat, just barely bubbling. Do not let the wine come to a full simmer (or the liquid will reduce too much).
Slow Cooker & Instant Pot instructions: Place the wine, water and maple syrup in the slow cooker or Instant Pot (pressure cooker) with the toasted spices. Cook on low for 2 hours or Normal using the Instant Pot “Slow Cooker” setting.
Add brandy and orange juice: When ready to serve, stir in the brandy or Cognac and the juice from 1 orange. Garnish with orange slices and if desired, rosemary sprigs.
*Double the recipe for a party: for the Slow Cooker and Instant Pot it’s nice to have the doubled quantities.
Keywords: Mulled wine, mulled wine recipe, how to make mulled wine, mulled wine spices
The brown sugar bourbon smash is made with brown sugar syrup, the best bourbon, ginger beer, sliced apples and cinnamon. It’s fall in a cup! Oh hello Friday eve! You deserve a cocktail. Fall cocktail season is the best cocktail season. I’m sure it has something to do with my life long love of apple […]
The brown sugar bourbon smash is made with brown sugar syrup, the best bourbon, ginger beer, sliced apples and cinnamon. It’s fall in a cup!
Oh hello Friday eve! You deserve a cocktail.
Fall cocktail season is the best cocktail season. I’m sure it has something to do with my life long love of apple cider, but oh my WORD – the flavor combinations are just the best. You can find all of my best fall drinks here and it’s really hard to choose just one!
They are all so good.
This bourbon smash is made with brown sugar syrup – you know, like the shaken brown sugar espresso thing?
Instead of simple syrup, we’re doing brown sugar syrup. Well, I guess it still is simple syrup!
Just made with brown sugar. You get the drift. It’s easy!
Brown sugar syrup also lasts for a while in the fridge. So you can use it in alllll the things.
This is how we make the brown sugar bourbon smash.
The brown sugar syrup of course! For sweetness and a little sugary depth.
Your favorite bourbon. I really love Bulleit but there isn’t a wrong answer here, as long as it’s not what you were drinking from a $12 jug in college.
Ginger beer! A splash of bubbles for some zing – I love using ginger beer this time of year because it imparts some spice into cocktails. A little zip! I love it.
Then toss in a few apples. A cinnamon stick. Maybe even a sprinkle of ground cinnamon.
You can also do a cinnamon sugar rim if you wish. I realize that is very anti-bourbon, and more apple cider margarita-ish. But it’s fall and basically everything needs a cinnamon sugar rim in the fall. You know? (more…)
We’ve rounded up our favorite spooky Halloween cocktails! From delicious punches to smoking martinis there’s definitely a recipe in here for your party! These Halloween cocktail recipes are easy to make and full of fun ideas and flavors! Th…
We’ve rounded up our favorite spooky Halloween cocktails! From delicious punches to smoking martinis there’s definitely a recipe in here for your party! These Halloween cocktail recipes are easy to make and full of fun ideas and flavors! The Best Halloween Cocktail Recipes If you’re planning a party or just having with a few friends […]
Want a pumpkin cocktail? Try the Pumpkin Old Fashioned! It’s a cozy slow sipper with bourbon and hints of vanilla and spice.
Looking for a pumpkin cocktail that’s sippable and not too sweet? Try our new favorite fall drink: the Pumpkin Old Fashioned! This one is for bourbon-lovers: it’s a nuanced slow sipper with notes of vanilla, maple and spice. It’s barely sweet and bourbon-forward, ideal for sipping by the fireside or any fall occasion. While it’s bright orange, it tastes just like the Classic Old Fashioned you love…only cozier.
What’s in a Pumpkin Old Fashioned cocktail?
This Pumpkin Old Fashioned cocktail is 100% Old Fashioned, with a hint of pumpkin spices. It’s a great contrast to most pumpkin cocktails, which tend to be on the sweet and creamy side (like this Pumpkin Martini). This one has just the right finish from the pumpkin spices, but it’s still very bourbon forward. Here’s what you’ll need:
Pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
Pure maple syrup
Pumpkin pie spice
The ingredients might make it seem like a sweet drink, this Pumpkin Old Fashioned is anything but! Take a sip and it tastes like bourbon on the front end, but the finish has a distinct nuance of spice.
Use pure maple syrup or simple syrup
Don’t have pure maple syrup? This pumpkin cocktail uses pure maple syrup, not the synthetic kind! You can substitute honey or simple syrup if you don’t have it on hand. Even better, make a batch of Brown Sugar Syrup! It takes just 5 minutes and all you need is brown sugar. The flavor is even deeper and more caramel than maple syrup.
How to make a Pumpkin Old Fashioned
The method for making a Pumpkin Old Fashioned cocktail is different from the typical Old Fashioned. For the classic, you muddle a sugar cube with bitters, then add the bourbon right in the glass. For the pumpkin version, you’ll have to shake it! Here’s why:
Shake the ingredients in a cocktail shaker. This is unconventional for an Old Fashioned. But it’s necessary to integrate the pumpkin puree into the drink. It makes a beautiful orange color!
Strain into an ice-filled glass. When you’re making an Old Fashioned, a big ice cube is key. Make a batch of Clear Ice for the best results.
Garnish! This pumpkin cocktail looks great with a rosemary branch and orange peel, evoking the colors of…you guessed it, a pumpkin.
More pumpkin drinks
There are so many tasty ways to add pumpkin to your drinks! From smoothies to cocktails, we’ve got you covered. Try these delicious pumpkin drinks:
A quick recipe and everything you need to know for how to make a White Russian! This classic cocktail combines vodka, Kahlua and cream. We whipped some of the cream and added it to the top for a whipped White Russian. It’s a fantastic cocktail an…
A quick recipe and everything you need to know for how to make a White Russian! This classic cocktail combines vodka, Kahlua and cream. We whipped some of the cream and added it to the top for a whipped White Russian. It’s a fantastic cocktail and simple to make. Made popular by the 90’s cult […]
This apple cider margarita recipe will impress everyone! It’s tangy and balanced, with a cinnamon sugar rim.
Once apple cider season rolls around, there’s one cocktail you absolutely must make with it. This Apple Cider Margarita! It’s tangy and balanced: the zingy tequila and lime pairs beautifully with the sweet cider. Top it off with a cinnamon sugar rim, and every sip is a delight. Every margarita recipe we make is my favorite…until we make a new one. This one is ideal as a fall cocktail or winter drink: make the pitcher variation if you’re serving a crowd!
What’s in an apple cider margarita?
This apple cider margarita is a spin on the Classic Margarita, a simple classic cocktail from the 1930’s that’s stood the test of time. The ingredients in the classic? Tequila, lime juice, and orange liqueur (Triple Sec or Cointreau). This version stays true to the classic definition, simply adding in apple cider to the mix. Here’s what you’ll need for this apple cider margarita:
Cinnamon and sugar, for the rim
What type of apple cider to buy?
There are a few major types of apple cider you’ll find at the store that you can use in this margarita. Here’s a breakdown and what we prefer:
Unfiltered vs filtered: Apple cider is sold unfiltered, which has the pulp and sediment, and filtered, which is basically like apple juice. For the best flavor and color for this drink, choose unfiltered! But it works with filtered as well.
Pasteurized vs unpasteurized: Pasteurizing apple cider makes it more shelf stable. If it’s unpasteurized, it can turn into hard cider or apple cider vinegar over time, so you should drink it within 2 weeks. Unpasteurized cider has more risk of bacteria, so we recommend pasteurized.
How to make a cinnamon sugar rim
The best part of this apple cider margarita recipe? The cinnamon sugar rim! It gives a pop of sweetness to each sip, and a bit of texture on the edge of the glass. Here’s how to whip it up at home:
Use a lime wedge to wet the wedge of the glass. Cut a notch in it, then run it around the edge of the glass. You can do a thicker band, like you see in the photos.
Mix up a plate of cinnamon and sugar. You don’t even have to measure: any quantity will do.
Place the outer edge of the glass in the sugar and rotate. Make sure the outer edge is evenly coated (not the inside).
Voila! Take one sip, and this drink is deliciously balanced between tangy lime, zingy tequila and sweet cinnamon sugar.
Make an apple cider margarita pitcher (8 servings)
Serving a crowd? The best way to serve an apple cider margarita is as a pitcher! That way, you can spend 5 minutes making 8 drinks instead of one. You can prepare all the glasses with cinnamon sugar rims, then pour the drink into each (approximate 2/3 cup liquid per glass, plus ice!). Here’s what to mix together:
1 ½ cups tequila
2 cups apple cider
¾ cup Triple Sec or Cointreau
¾ cup lime juice
3 handfuls ice
Add these ingredients to a pitcher, mix, and enjoy! The ice quantity is important for the dilution that would occur in a cocktail shaker. Let us know what you think in the comments below!
Star anise and cinnamon stick, for garnish (optional)
Cut a notch in a lime wedge, then run the lime around the rim of a glass. Dip the edge of the rim into a plate of cinnamon and sugar.
Single drink: Place all ingredients in a cocktail shaker and fill it with ice. Shake until cold. Strain the margarita into the glass with the sugar rim. Fill the glass with ice and serve.
Pitcher (8 servings): Place 1 ½ cups tequila, 2 cups apple cider, ¾ cup Triple Sec or Cointreau, and ¾ cup lime juice in a pitcher. Add 3 handfuls ice and stir until cold. Prepare the glasses separately, then add 2/3 cup to each glass and garnish with ice.
*To convert to tablespoons, 1 ounce = 2 tablespoons
A refreshing, whiskey punch we’re calling apple harvest punch! It’s made with apple cider, lemon juice, whiskey and ginger simple syrup. It’s great for a fall gathering, pumpkin carving party, Thanksgiving or a cheese gathering! We lo…
A refreshing, whiskey punch we’re calling apple harvest punch! It’s made with apple cider, lemon juice, whiskey and ginger simple syrup. It’s great for a fall gathering, pumpkin carving party, Thanksgiving or a cheese gathering! We love this recipe because it’s simple to make and has the best fall flavors like apple cider and ginger. […]