Warm, Spiced Bourbon Cider: The Perfect Autumn Companion

The 'season of mists and mellow fruitfulness' is upon us. If you’re not so smitten with the nippy fall weather, the oh-so-comforting seasonal cider can provide a welcome respite.

A hot, fortified cider is not just a tonic for chilly winter days. Add a generous splash of bourbon and it can reinvigorate the life and soul of any dinner party or soiree. In fact, whether you are snuggled up next to a campfire under the stars or on the sofa, reading a book, this cocktail makes for a perfect companion.

And the best thing about this ultimate crowd pleaser? You can build on the spiciness and add more heat or experiment with your choice of bourbon for unique flavor dimensions.

Mix your own spiced bourbon cider:

Prepare the spiced syrup by adding cider (4 cups), orange and lemon peels (optional), cloves ( 3 whole), cinnamon ( 1 stick), freshly grated ginger ( a pinch), and star anise ( 1 piece) to a pot or saucepan. Bring it to a boil before letting it simmer for around five minutes. Remove from the heat and let it sit for ten minutes. Strain the hot cider and add 2 cups of bourbon. Mix it well.

You can pour the concoction into any container of your choice, or pick an ornate punch bowl if you’re trying to impress. Toss in a few slices of orange to float on top. Serve the drink warm in mugs, tea cups, or hot toddy glasses, and dust it with nutmeg.

The expansive warmth envelopes you instantly, and the spicy and citrusy notes tantalizes your taste buds. Don’t worry, the bourbon’s presence will not be lost in the mix.

Modify the recipe per your tastes, and you may just have the makings of a family tradition that will carry you into many a holiday season.