Toasted Apple Cider Bourbon Smash | Holiday Bourbon Cocktail

Toasted Holiday Bourbon Cocktail

The Toasted Apple Cider Bourbon Smash is the perfect holiday bourbon cocktail that will have you still connecting with the flavors from the Fall while enjoying the apple cider tastes and humbling magic of the Christmas season. This bourbon cocktail mixed with orange liquor, maple syrup, cinnamon sugar, and apple cider makes it the perfect dinner drink for the holiday season.

In previous years during the holiday season, I would make a Christmas Old Fashioned with whiskey or bourbon, but since I decided to make a Spring Old Fashioned this past year during Easter, I wanted to switch things up a little bit and give my family a new drink that they’ll love. So as you’re thinking of what holiday cocktails to make this year, consider this holiday bourbon cocktail.

Apple Cider Holiday Bourbon Cocktail


We are a family of bourbon lovers, so over the years, I’ve been creating bourbon cocktails that still maintain the bourbon flavor while connecting to the flavors of the season. So creating a bourbon cocktail for the holiday season was something that was much needed especially to have cocktail for holiday dinner.

This cocktail has become a favorite of mine. Over the years, I’ve replicated a number of Christmas bourbon cocktails such as a bourbon champagne cocktail and a bourbon milk punch to give my palette a new taste of different flavors, but also to find out what bourbon cocktails and tastes really connect with my family. I tried to give them a spiced cranberry bourbon cocktail once, and let’s just say that the spice wasn’t a fan favorite for many of the members of my family, but that doesn’t mean that I have necessarily stopped making spiced cocktails.

If you considering making this cocktail, you can make it with a little less apple cider if you are looking to taste more of the bourbon. Additionally, if you’re also looking to serve this without alcohol, an easy way to make this a mocktail, is to add a dehydrated orange slice that is toasted and a splash of orange juice to bring in the orange and toasted flavor.

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When it comes to making this Christmas cocktail, it’s a lot more simple than it looks. It’s a mixed drink that even a whine lover will like because you can make it as sweet as you want or even make it a little dry or tangy by adding more of the toasted flavor to it through increasing the orange flavor that is typically light in this cocktail if you make it by the recipe listed below.


To prep your apple bourbon cocktail, you’ll want to first rim your glass. There have been many times where I mixed my cocktail and then rimmed the glass and either my drink died while I was waiting for the rim to set or I poured my drink it before the rim set and the rim got ruined. So, as the first step to making your cocktail, grab a bourbon glass – I like to go with either a rounded glass such as this one or a old fashioned glass – and dip the edge in maple syrup and shake off any access. As a tip, hold the glass upside down for a little bit to let any access drip off before dipping in cinnamon sugar and then flipping upright. You’ll probably still get some dripping down the edge of the glass but it’s easy to wipe off or just leave to add an element to it. After dipping in the maple syrup, dip your glass in cinnamon sugar and then set glasses to the side to set as you mix your cocktail.


Since it’s release, one of my new bourbon whiskey brands is Basil Hayden. So for this cocktail, I decided to go with the Basil Hayden Toasted bourbon to create my bourbon Christmas cocktail. The toasted flavor in the bourbon helps to bring the toasted flavor out right from the beginning of making the cocktail. The smoothness and sweetness of Basil Hayden has made it great for not needing simple syrup for many of my bourbon cocktails whether they are my bourbon Christmas cocktails such as the cranberry bourbon cocktail that I made earlier this year. When it comes to making any whiskey or bourbon Christmas cocktails this year, I highly recommend making Basil Hayden your Christmas bourbon.


During the holiday season, especially during Christmas day, there is quite a lot happening. So, for many, cocktails that take a lot of time to make isn’t something that is preferable. You’re probably looking for a quick cocktail that can be made over and over again in a quick amount of time, so that you can focus on spending time with family and putting more time into cooking Christmas dinner rather than making cocktails. For me, I like to make cocktails that take minimal time to make, especially if I am offering more than one cocktail to serve to my family during the holiday season. I don’t want to spend the majority of the time sitting behind the bar area making cocktails and not being able to relax, play games with my family, and enjoy the Christmas spirit.

This cocktail is super easy to make and doesn’t require ingredients that you wouldn’t be using any other time. For me, one of the hardest things I find with creating cocktails is when you have to find ingredients that you won’t be using outside of making the cocktail. But with all of these ingredients, other than the alcohol, you can use them for other cocktails and for cooking any holiday meals. For example, the maple syrup is going to be used for Christmas breakfast.

The Toasted Apple Cider Bourbon Smash is a quick holiday cocktail that can be made individually and also made to be put in a pitcher to be poured into glasses as the night goes on. If you choose to go with the pitcher option, just make sure to keep a wooden spoon around to stir each time that you are about to serve it as the cinnamon tends to sit at the bottom. You can put the apple slices in the pitcher to let them soak in the cocktail, but avoid putting the sprigs of rosemary and cinnamon sticks in the pitcher to sit. Instead, keep them on the side in small containers that you can simply drop into each glass upon refill.

Once you have all of your ingredients set, you’ll just measure the ingredients out, add them to your mixing glass, add ice, stir, strain, and serve. You’ll spend a max of three minutes total time per each cocktail.


The aroma of the rosemary and toasted cinnamon stick will add to the flavor of the cocktail as we often taste through our noses. Having a rounded glass or a whiskey glass will help keep the sprig of rosemary and cinnamon stick close to the drinkers nose each time they drink.

Christmas Bourbon Cocktail
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Toasted Apple Cider Bourbon Smash Holiday Bourbon Cocktail

Toasted Apple Cider Bourbon Smash | Holiday Bourbon Cocktail

  • Author: Iesha Vincent
  • Total Time: 3 minutes


  • 1 1/2 oz of toasted bourbon
  • 1/2 oz of orange liquor
  • 1 tablespoon of pure maple syrup
  • 3/4 cup of apple caramel apple cider
  • 1 dash of cinnamon sugar
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 sprig of rosemary
  • 2 apple slices


  1. In a cocktail glass, combine bourbon, orange liquor, maple syrup, cinnamon sugar, and apple cider.
  2. Top with ice and stir.
  3. Strain mixture into cocktail glass rimmed with cinnamon sugar.
  4. Add apple slices.
  5. Lightly toast entire cinnamon stick and put into glass.
  6. Toast top of cinnamon stick and the spring of rosemary.
  7. Serve.
  • Prep Time: 1 minute
  • Cook Time: 2 minutes
  • Category: Cocktail
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