Bourbon Cocoa Cider

November 23, 2020
1 Ratings
Photo by Elliott Clark
  • Prep time 5 minutes
  • Cook time 3 hours
  • makes 1 cocktail
Test Kitchen Notes

This isn't your average apple cider: Here, Basil Hayden’s bourbon and a dash of créme de cacao bring a little extra warmth to the fall classic.

This recipe is shared in partnership with Basil Hayden's®.

Drink Smart®. Basil Hayden's® Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey, 40% Alc./Vol. ©2020 Kentucky Springs Distilling Co., Clermont, KY —The Editors —The Editors

What You'll Need
Watch This Recipe
Bourbon Cocoa Cider
  • For the bourbon cider:
  • 1 1/2 parts Basil Hayden's® Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
  • 1/2 part crème de cacao
  • 2-3 dashes aromatic bitters
  • 6 parts homemade cider, warmed
  • For the homemade cider:
  • 8-10 apples, sliced (I used a mix of Gala, Honeycrisp, and Granny Smith apples)
  • 4-5 whole cinnamon sticks
  • 2-3 whole star anise
  • 3 whole cloves
  • 1 whole nutmeg
  • 2 whole allspice
  • 1 half whole, fresh orange
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar (add up to 1/2 cup of brown sugar if you want the cider to be slightly sweeter)
  1. For the bourbon cider:
  2. Combine all ingredients into a warm glass mug and lightly stir to combine. Garnish with an orange twist and freshly grated chocolate, if you like.
  1. For the homemade cider:
  2. In a large pot, combine the apples, cinnamon sticks, star anise, cloves, allspice, nutmeg (I grated some nutmeg into the pot before dropping in the whole nutmeg), and brown sugar.
  3. For the orange, pare 4 to 5 orange peels and add them to the pot, then squeeze the juice from the orange into the pot; drop the orange half in as well.
  4. Cover the mixture with 8 cups of water, and bring it to a simmer. Once the cider is brought to a simmer, reduce to medium heat and let it lightly simmer for 2 hours. Then, mash the apples with a masher and allow the cider to lightly simmer for 1 more hour.
  5. Strain the cider through a fine mesh strainer or cheese cloth to remove the solids, and then it’s ready to serve. (To store: Allow the cider to cool before putting it in the refrigerator. This cider stays good for up to 2 weeks).

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  • Erin Alexander
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Elliott Clark, also known as the Apartment Bartender, is a well-respected tastemaker, cocktail creator, spirits writer, and photographer in the spirits industry. What started out as a hobby for making cocktails at home has developed into a full-blown career that takes Elliott all over the world mixing drinks for some of the world’s most notable brands, and making the world of spirits more accessible to the at-home cocktail enthusiast.

2 Reviews

Carmen December 12, 2020
Question: when does the sugar go into the cider?
Erin A. December 14, 2020
Hi there! You can add the brown sugar in along with the spices. The recipe has been updated to include that!