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This fall apple bourbon cocktail is easy to make and is packed with fall flavors. Made with a homemade apple spice and brown sugar infused simple syrup.
For other bourbon cocktails that are perfect for fall, try this bourbon cherry cocktail, this brown sugar old fashioned, this bourbon margarita, this bourbon rosemary cocktail or this bourbon raspberry cocktail.
- The bourbon & fall flavors pair perfectly in this drink for the best holiday apple cocktail.
- The homemade simple syrup is infused with apple, cinnamon and maple, giving it an authentic and bold fall apple flavor.
- This bourbon cocktail is the perfect Thanksgiving cocktail for sipping around the fireplace.
Ingredients & Substitutions
- Bourbon: Use your favorite type of medium quality bourbon for this cocktail. Save top shelf bourbon for drinking on the rocks.
- Apples: Any type of apple will work, but if you have the option, try a sweeter variety, such as honeycrisp, gala or fuji for making the simple syrup.
- Brown Sugar: Brown sugar, rather than granulated sugar is used to make the simple syrup. Brown sugar adds a rich, caramel taste that melds well with the apple and spices.
- Maple Syrup: Maple syrup adds sweetness and pairs well with the apple and spices. It is used to make the homemade syrup and is also mixed into the final cocktail. For the best taste, use real maple syrup.
- Fall Spices: Cinnamon, ground ginger and ground nutmeg are used to create a rich, fall-flavored simple syrup.
- Lemon Juice: Use freshly squeezed lemon juice only. It will add brightness and offsets the sweet syrup.
- A small saucepan to make the apple syrup in.
- A very fine mesh strainer to strain out the spices from the syrup.
- A cocktail shaker to make the cocktail.
Step 1: Heat the apple chunks, brown sugar, water, maple syrup, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and salt in a pan over medium heat. Bring the syrup to a very gentle simmer, but don’t let it boil. Continue to heat, stirring occasionally for 5 to 8 minutes until the brown sugar has completely dissolved.
Step 2: Remove the syrup from the stove and use a very fine mesh strainer to separate out the apple chunks and spices.
Step 3: Add the bourbon, apple spice syrup, lemon juice, maple syrup and a handful of ice to a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake well for 5 to 10 seconds until the outside of the shaker is frosted. Strain and pour into a cocktail glass.
- When making the apple pie syrup, don’t let the syrup boil. Boiling the syrup will result in too much water evaporating, leaving you with a thick, sticky syrup. The syrup should have the consistency of water.
- After straining the apple pie syrup, you should be left with about an ounce of syrup. If you have less than an ounce, the cocktail will be too strong.
- Use an extra fine mesh sieve. This recipe requires a very, very fine mesh sieve to strain out the spices. If the spices are not strained, they will settle in a layer on the bottom of the cocktail glass.
- To save time making this drink, prepare a large batch of apple pie syrup in advance. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week.
This drink has a balance in flavor and is not overly sweet. However, for a stronger bourbon-flavored drink, use only ½ ounce of apple pie syrup.
The homemade syrup should have a consistency similar to water. If the syrup is too thick, it was heated at too high a temperature for too long.