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The apple cider Old Fashioned is a fall spin on the classic! Spiced apple cider syrup sweetens this whiskey cocktail.

Apple Cider Old Fashioned

Here’s a fun fall cocktail that’s ideal for any whiskey lover: try the Apple Cider Old Fashioned! Swapping out the sugar for apple cider syrup infuses fruity, spiced seasonal flavor into this classic drink. Each sip has notes of apple and orange, cinnamon and spice, and vanilla and oak. If you’re in the mood for a boozy showstopper, this is the drink for you!

Ingredients in an apple cider Old Fashioned

The Old Fashioned is one of the oldest cocktails in existence, first documented in the early 1800’s by a New York paper. This spin uses apple cider syrup instead of the standard sugar cube to infuse homey flavors into the drink. Using syrup in this drink is ideal because adding straight apple cider waters down the drink, making it more like a Wisconsin Old Fashioned. Here are the ingredients you’ll need:

  • Apple cider syrup (see below)
  • Angostura bitters
  • Bourbon or rye whiskey
  • Orange peel
  • Apple slices and cocktail cherry, for garnish (optional)
  • Large clear ice cube, for serving
Apple Cider Old Fashioned

Making apple cider syrup

The apple cider syrup is what makes this apple cider Old Fashioned sing! The boiled apple cider infuses apple and cinnamon flavor as well as sweetness. Here are a few things to note about this drink component:

  • It takes 30 minutes to make. Boil apple cider with sugar and a cinnamon stick for 30 to 35 minutes on the stovetop, until reduced and syrupy.
  • Make a batch in advance. This is an easy component to make in advance and refrigerate until serving. It stores up to 2 weeks refrigerated.
  • Want to use it for more drinks? Try the Fall Margarita!

Apple cider Old Fashioned: the quick way!

Don’t have 30 minutes to spare and want to whip up this apple cider Old Fashioned on demand? You can do that too. Follow the recipe below but use 1 tablespoon apple cider and 1 tablespoon simple syrup. Taste and adjust flavors as desired.

Apple Cider Old Fashioned

Step it up with clear ice

Want the very best Old Fashioned? Use clear ice. These are crystal clear ice cubes you can cut into organic shapes that make your drink look like it’s from a fancy bar. These contrast from the cloudy ice cubes that come from an ice try. They’re an absolute must for an Old Fashioned! Here’s how to do it:

  • Make clear ice in a small cooler. Go to How to Make Clear Ice for instructions! The cooler just needs to fit inside your freezer.
  • Use a clear ice tray. We use this clear ice tray and it works well! It also fits easily into your freezer.

More fall cocktails

This apple cider Old Fashioned is great for any occasion, be it Thanksgiving, apple picking, Christmas, or any fall or winter gathering. And there are so many ways to use apple cider into cocktails! Here are a few more fun fall drinks that incorporate cider and other fall flavors:

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Apple Cider Old Fashioned

Apple Cider Old Fashioned

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Syrup Prep: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 1 drink 1x


The apple cider Old Fashioned is a fall spin on the classic! Spiced apple cider syrup sweetens this whiskey cocktail.



For the apple cider Old Fashioned

  • 1/2 to 1 ounce apple cider syrup (see below or variation*)
  • 4 dashes Angostura bitters
  • 2 ounces** bourbon or rye whiskey
  • Orange peel
  • Apple slices and cocktail cherry, for garnish (optional)
  • Large clear ice cube, for serving

For the apple cider syrup (makes ¾ cup)

  • 4 cups apple cider
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 4 cinnamon sticks


  1. To make the apple cider syrup*: Place the apple cider, granulated sugar and cinnamon sticks in a saucepan. Bring to a low boil, then maintain a low boil for 30 to 35 minutes until reduced to ¾ cup. Use immediately or refrigerate until using (stores up to 2 weeks refrigerated).
  2. To make the Old Fashioned: Add the apple cider syrup, bitters and whiskey to a lowball glass and stir to combine. Add a large ice cube.
  3. Use a knife to remove a 1″ wide strip of the orange peel. Squeeze the orange peel into the drink to release the oils. Gently run the peel around the edge of the glass, then place it in the glass. If desired, garnish with a cocktail cherry for additional sweetness.


*Variation: For a quick version, follow the recipe above but in place of apple cider syrup, use 1 tablespoon apple cider and 1 tablespoon simple syrup, then adjust flavors as desired.

**To convert to tablespoons, 1 ounce = 2 tablespoons.

  • Category: Cocktail
  • Method: No Cook
  • Cuisine: Cocktails
  • Diet: Vegan

Keywords: Apple cider Old Fashioned

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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