A Spiced Whisky Cocktail for Extra-Chilly Winter Nights

Mixologist Jeff Bell shares his recipe for warm Spey Cider.

December 11, 2019

We've partnered with The Balvenie Single Malt Scotch Whisky—each bottle is made with distinctive character and craftsmanship—to share the many ways we're celebrating the season, from sipping cozy cocktails with friends to whipping up holiday-ready recipes.

If the idea of curling up by a roaring fireplace, as snow gently falls outside the window, sounds like a perfect way to spend a winter evening, you've come to the right place.

But if (like me) you don't have a hearth at home, this Spey Cider from Jeff Bell—an award-winning mixologist—comes pretty close to hitting all those same cozy notes.

Apple cider, a flavorful pumpkin consommé, and a medley of warm spices (cardamom, cinnamon, clove, ginger, and more) give this cocktail plenty of toasty, fireside flavors. But the real star is a single malt whisky—its notes of toffee, vanilla, and a hint of fruit help tie all the elements together.

Check out the video above to watch Jeff and Senior Editor/Whisky Fan Eric Kim make this holiday-ready drink in our test kitchen, plus get a few of their tips for pulling it off at home.

More Wintry Whisky Favorites

This year, celebrate the Season to Taste. We're teaming up The Balvenie Single Malt Scotch Whisky—makers of award-winning bottlings carefully crafted in the Scottish Highlands—to share recipes and traditions from a few of our favorites chefs, bakers, and cocktail pros. Here, award-winning mixologist Jeff Bell shares the recipe for one of his go-to winter drinks, a toasty Spey Cider starring The Balvenie 14 Year Old Caribbean Cask. Perfect for everything from cocktails to cooking, or just sipping neat, The Balvenie Single Malt Scotch Whisky is an excellent addition to any bar cart for the holidays and beyond.

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See what other Food52 readers are saying.

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Erin Alexander

Written by: Erin Alexander

Erin Alexander is the Managing Editor of Food52.


adambravo December 24, 2019
This sounds fabulous if you own a restaurant or a bar and are serving dozens of people, which might justify the huge effort required. Nine ingredients, including 128 oz of store-bought cider, to yield 3 oz of spiced cider? And where does one get a handful of sliced pumpkin--for the 1/2 oz of consommé--without decimating an entire pumpkin? I also agree with Bill W that the huge melange of ingredients (15 + garnish) would overwhelm a top-shelf scotch. Finally, although not unmanageable, I am slightly perplexed why one part of the recipe is in Imperial units, while the other part is metric.
Rita C. December 14, 2019
It sounded wonderful until the pumpkin consommé. Why does pumpkin have to be in everything?
Mike B. December 12, 2019
This recipe is excessive, uninventive, overly complicated, expensive and uses random store bought cider? Everything is so specific except that..
Bill W. December 11, 2019
What a waste of good scotch. In a drink like that just use the cheap stuff.