Hot Apple Cider Cocktail

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Cocktail Type


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Hot Apple Cider Cocktail

If you love the holidays and everything that goes along with it, the Hot Apple Cider Cocktail is likely to be right up your alley. Whenever we make this warming drink, the aroma take us right back to the cozy excitement of those fuzzy, family-filled weeks leading up to Christmas. 




Keep your cider hot in a teapot of you’re pouring for a crowd.


Warm your serving cups beforehand for a extra cozy serve.


Pairs amazingly well with freshly-baked gingerbread cookies.



1 Person

2 Oz

60 Ml

2 Parts

5 Oz

150 Ml

5 Parts

Apple cider (or to taste)
Teaspoon honey
Cinnamon stick, to garnish
lemon wedge or apple slice, to garnish



Heat up the cider in a small saucepan and warm up an Irish Coffee glass or mug


Coat the bottom of the glass with honey and add the whiskey


Fill with hot apple cider and stir well


Garnish with a cinnamon stick and your choice of lemon- or apple slice

What is a Hot Apple Cider Cocktail?

The Hot Apple Cider cocktail is arguably one of the best fall cocktails in existence and also ranks up there as one of the top Thanksgiving cocktails of all time. It combines the smokiness of a good whisky with the sweetness of honey, the tartness of warmed apple cider, and just a hint of apple pie spice. In short – it’s a big old festive hug in a mug. 

Read next: 8 Apple Brandy Cocktail Recipes to Get You in the Mood for Fall

What’s the best alcohol to use in a Hot Apple Cider Cocktail

We prefer to use a good whisky like Wild Turkey 101 Bourbon, which comes to the table with a sweet, yet bold character underpinned by a vanilla-based aroma and finishes with lingering notes of spice and orange peel. Aged between six and eight years, this whisky is perfect to use in wintertime cocktails.  

Learn more: What’s the Difference Between Rye Whiskey & Bourbon

How to keep Hot Apple Cider Cocktail hot

Because this warming drink is such a crowd-pleaser it’s a popular choice for large gatherings, especially over the winter holidays. Naturally, it’s not exactly an option to make them one by one in cases like these; you’ll spend the entire day at the drinks cart, and that’s no fun at all.  

So, if you plan to batch prep your drinks, and want to serve your Hot Apple Cider cocktail at the best possible temperature, our recommendation is to keep your apple cider at a slow simmer in a kettle or saucepan on the stove. If you have a non-electric kettle to use, it’s ideal, since you can pour your cider straight from the stovetop (or fireplace hook if you’re feeling fancy) – just remember the oven gloves! 

Otherwise, you can decant the cider into a teapot and pour it like that. Using a ladle straight from the saucepan is also an option, but this can get messy and there will likely be a lot of glass wiping involved.  

For the rest, it’s as simple as setting out your Irish coffee glasses or mugs beforehand and prepping the honey, whisky, and cinnamon sticks so it’s good to go. The apple or lemon slices can be added along with the hot apple cider.  

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We love using small-batch regional apple cider in a drink like the Hot Apple Cider cocktail. However, since the cider will be warmed and combined with other elements, a conventional store-bought brand will also do the trick.

rum is smooth and delicious with aromas of orange peel, banana, tobacco, and molasses, with sweet fruits; and a warming finish with notes of cinnamon, caramel, and vanilla.

Yes, you can! It works a treat in wintertime drinks like the Hot Apple Cider cocktail.

Vodka and apple cider combine quite well yes. This combination actually forms the base of a version of the Hot Apple Cider cocktail, which is a popular holiday drink and Thanksgiving cocktail.

You could, but it actually works a bit better on the stove top since you can keep a closer eye on it, and see exactly when the fluid starts to bubble. If you don't have a stove to use, just remember to decant the apple cider into a microwave-safe container before you warm it up. Glass bottles are not very safe to use in this appliance.