This cozy cocktail is made with fresh apple cider and bold smokey bourbon. It's the perfect drink to snuggle up with on the couch next to the fire. Each sip is full of crispy sweetness paired with a little charred toasty flavors. If you're looking for a warm & cozy libation, this bourbon apple cider cocktail is it!
This Smoked Cinnamon Apple Cider Bourbon Smash Cocktail is sponsored by In The Raw. As always, all thoughts are my own. Thank you so much for supporting brands that make The Fit Peach possible!
It is that time of the year! Temps are dropping outside, fire places are in full use, friends and family are gathering, and the need for a good cocktail is at an all time high. Whether you're looking to cozy up next to the fire with a loved one, host a festive party, or need some liquid courage before the family comes rolling in for the holidays, this bourbon apple cider cocktail is the perfect drink to have in hand.
What makes this cocktail so good?
This is one of my all-time favorite cocktails! It's SO easy to make at home and perfectly pairs the traditional fall apple cider with comforting bold bourbon. With the addition of the the smoky cinnamon and thyme, it adds a little elevated twist to the drink that will make you feel like a pro bartender whipped it up just for you.
As someone who typically doesn't love apple cider, this is the perfect way to use it! There is just a splash in the cocktail, giving it a touch of crisp sweetness and fall flavors without being too overbearing. It also the ideal match to boozy bourbon. Even if you aren't huge bourbon person, you'll fall in love with this cocktail.
Cinnamon Agave Simple Syrup
Wanna know the secret to this bourbon cinnamon apple cider cocktail? It's the homemade cinnamon agave simple syrup. It's easy to make at home and really brings this cocktail from wow to WOW!
If making simple syrup at home intimidates you, I hear you. But rest be sured, it's seriously so easy to make. We simmer a 1:1 ratio of In The Raw Agave Nectar and water with a few cinnamon sticks and outcome is a slightly thick simple syrup that's made slightly "health-ier". The agave nectar provides a rich and robust caramel-like flavor to this super easy simple syrup.
The best part about it is you can store it in a jar and easily throw it into your cocktails over the next few weeks and it gets even better with time!
How to make this cocktail smoky
I for one love a good smoky cocktail. It's an easy way to add a little complex flavor to the drink. You can do this right at home too and feel like you're at some swanky cocktail bar from the comfort of your couch!
Two disclaimers here - one, this drink is for those of legal age. Two, as you probably already know, be careful when handling anything with fire.
First, make sure you are using a dish you don't care too much about. Don't use a matte or ceramic plate as the ash will stain it. If you have one, a wood plank works best!
Take a fresh cinnamon stick and carefully run the tip over a hot flame. I prefer to use a lighter over a match stick as this may take a few seconds get the cinnamon stick to heat up.
Once the cinnamon stick is smoking a bit, place it on the plate (or wood plank) and place a cocktail glass over it so the smoke is trapped. Leave the glass like this until you are ready to pour in the cocktail! It's as easy as that!
If you find that your cinnamon stick isn't smoking well, try dipping the tip in a little of the bourbon. The alcohol will help it heat up and thus create the smoke.
- Fresh, chilled apple cider is best in this recipe. This time of year, most grocery stores carry a half gallon and it keeps well in the fridge for a while.
- Use high quality bourbon like Bulleit or Knob Creek.
- If you can, use a large ice cube mold for your drink. The surface area of the ice cube is larger so it won't melt as fast as normal ice cubes and dilute the cocktail.
- Store the agave simple syrup in a glass jar in the fridge so you can have it on hand later for more cocktails!
Frequently asked questions
This recipe will make 2 cocktails which will fit in a standard sized cocktail shaker. If you want to make this drink for more than 2 people, you will need to shake up the drink as directed, pour into 2 glasses, and repeat for however many drinks you want to make.
Yes, if you don't want to make a whole batch of agave simple syrup, just add 3 teaspoons of agave and 1 Tbsp water to the cocktail shaker when you are adding all the other ingredients. The caramel flavor will still come through.
It's best stored in a glass jar with an airtight lid in the fridge. Throw an extra cinnamon stick in the jar and let the cinnamon flavor blend into the liquid!
More drinks you're sure to love!
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Smoked Cinnamon Apple Cider Bourbon Smash Cocktail
For the agave simple syrup
- ¼ cup Agave In The Raw®
- ¼ cup water
- 2 cinnamon sticks
For the cocktail
- ½ cup apple cider
- 2- oz bourbon
- 3 large drops orange bitters
- Thyme - optional
- Cinnamon sticks - optional
- Apple slices - optional
- For the simple syrup, bring the agave, water, and cinnamon sticks to a simmer in a sauce pan. Once simmering, turn the element off and allow the mixture to cool down.
- To make this cocktail smoky, grab a fresh cinnamon stick, a plate (be sure it's one you don't care too much about) or wooden plank, a lighter, and your cocktail glass. Carefully run the lighter under the tip of the cinnamon stick until it begins to smoke. Place the cinnamon stick on the plate or wooden plank and cover with your cocktail glass. You should begin to see smoke in the glass. Keep the glass like this until you're ready to pour in your cocktail.
- Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add the apple cider, bourbon, bitters, and 1 Tbsp of the agave syrup. Shake well.
- Pour into cocktail glasses and top with fresh thyme, cinnamon sticks, and/or apple slices. For an extra smoky flavor, run a lighter under the thyme or cinnamon stick until it begins to smoke and place it in the cocktail