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Apple cider and whiskey are an ideal cocktail pairing! Here’s how to mix them up: as a lowball cocktail or as spiked hot cider.

Apple Cider and Whiskey
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Want an easy cocktail for fall and winter? Try Apple Cider and Whiskey! These two ingredients go hand in hand, the spicy whiskey complimenting the sweet tart cider perfectly. The great part about this pairing? You can drink it hot or cold! Make it as a lowball cocktail with big chunks of clear ice, or opt for hot spiked cider spiced with cinnamon and cloves. Here’s how to make both of them, depending on your mood!

Apple cider and whiskey: the ideal pairing!

Apple cider and whiskey are the ideal pairing for fall and winter cocktails! They work together cold as a lowball cocktail, or hot as spiked cider. For the cold version of the drink, you can use any type of whiskey, but we have some favorite types (keep reading). Here are the ingredients you’ll need:

  • Whiskey of any type (see below)
  • Apple cider
  • Orange wheel
  • Ice, to serve

Mix the whiskey and apple cider, add big chunks of clear ice and an orange wheel. Done!

Types of whiskey

Types of whiskey to pair with apple cider

There are specific types of whiskey that pair best with cider in the lowball version of this cocktail. When you pair cold cider with whiskey, you’ll want that signature spicy burn on the finish. The sweet flavor of bourbon can get lost here (unless you pair it with a complimentary spirit like orange liqueur or vermouth like in this Apple Cider Bourbon Cocktail). Here are a few notes on how each type of whiskey pairs with cider in this drink:

  • Rye whiskey pairs well, with its signature spicy burn on the finish
  • Blended Scotch is another great choice that balances well on the finish
  • Tennessee whiskey and Canadian whisky like Jack Daniels or Crown Royal are great choices
  • Bourbon works, but the flavor is less noticeable in the lowball drink. Try it in this Apple Cider Bourbon Cocktail or the hot version!
  • Irish whiskey is very mellow: it works if you’re looking for something very easy to drink
  • Fireball whisky is fantastic with cider: go to Fireball and Apple Cider

Variation: make hot whiskey spiked cider!

Are you looking for a hot version of apple cider and whiskey? Make up a batch of hot spiked apple cider! This recipe is easiest to make party-sized as a 6 serving drink! Here’s what’s different:

  • Simmer 6 cups apple cider with 1 cup whiskey, along with cinnamon and whole cloves. See the recipe below for quantities!
  • Any type of whiskey works. Again, they’ll all have different flavor variations. If you’re looking to use bourbon, the warming flavor works best in the hot version of this drink.
Mulled cider

What to look for when buying cider

What’s the best type of cider to pair with whiskey? In all our drinks with cider, we look for a few things:

  • Find unfiltered cider if you can. Unfiltered cider contains the pulp and sediment. Filtered is clear and light in color, basically like apple juice. Choose unfiltered for the best flavor and color for cocktails.
  • Pasteurized vs unpasteurized: Pasteurizing apple cider makes it more shelf stable. Unpasteurized cider has more risk of bacteria, and can turn into hard cider or apple cider vinegar over time. Try to find pasteurized cider.
Apple Cider and Whiskey

More ways to pair apple cider in cocktails

Got cider? There are so many ways to pair it with types of liquor to make into tasty fall cocktails! Here are a few of our top choices:

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Apple Cider and Whiskey

Apple Cider and Whiskey (Hot or Cold!)


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5 from 1 review

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 2 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 minutes
  • Yield: 1 drink 1x

Description

Apple cider and whiskey are an ideal cocktail pairing! Here’s how to mix them up: as a lowball cocktail or as spiked hot cider.


Ingredients

Scale

For the lowball cocktail (serves 1)

  • 3 ounces* apple cider
  • 1 ½ ounces whiskey (rye, blended Scotch, Tennessee, Canadian, bourbon, or Fireball)
  • Orange wheel
  • Ice, to serve (try clear ice!)

For the spiked hot cider (serves 6)

  • ½ teaspoon whole cloves
  • 3 cinnamon sticks
  • 6 cups apple cider
  • 1 cup whiskey

Instructions

  1. For the lowball cocktail: Stir together the apple cider and whiskey in a lowball glass. Garnish with an orange wheel.
  2. For the spiked hot cider: Combine the cloves, cinnamon sticks, and apple cider in a medium pot. Warm over low heat for 30 minutes. Skim off any particulate that forms.
    Stir in the whiskey. If desired, garnish with orange slices and whole cranberries. Ladle into mugs and enjoy.

Notes

*To convert to ounces, 1 ounce = 2 tablespoons

  • Category: Drink
  • Method: Stirred
  • Cuisine: Cocktails
  • Diet: Vegan

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes for memorable kitchen moments! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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3 Comments

  1. Kristina Block says:

    This looks delicious! What food would you pair with the mulled apple cider?

    1. Sonja Overhiser says:

      Hi there! It depends on what type of recipe you’re looking for — appetizers? Mains? Side dishes? Typically we’d serve mulled cider on its own to enjoy before or after a meal. But you could pair with any of these fall/winter appetizer ideas: https://www.acouplecooks.com/thanksgiving-appetizers/

  2. Sonja Overhiser says:

    Let us know if you have any questions!