We are officially gearing up for winter, and that means one thing: the time is now to cozy up by the fire with a warm, spicy boozy cocktail. And there’s no better cocktail for the job than my Hot Ginger Lemony Cider with Bourbon.
Using just a few ingredients (apple cider, warming spices, lemon juice, and bourbon), this recipe is easily adjusted to suit all preferences. No matter what quantity of each ingredient you use, the flavors are so complementary that you simply can’t mess this one up. But you can easily play up your favorite flavors by doubling down where you like.
As written, I think this Hot Ginger Lemony Cider with Bourbon is pretty perfect. But do you love a pronounced, spicy, gingery kick? Simply add more ginger. Want more acidity to cut through the apple cider? Add another squeeze of lemon. Want to taste more of that bourbon that’s dangerously hiding in there somewhere? Well, you know what to do.
Hot Ginger Lemony Cider with Bourbon
This Hot Ginger Lemony Cider with Bourbon is the perfect easy, cozy winter cocktail recipe. Inspired by the classic San Francisco restaurant Outerlands.
- 3 cups apple cider Use about 1 1/2 cup of fresh apple cider per person
- 2 cinnamon sticks, plus more for garnish if desired
- 2 whole star anise pods
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tbsp fresh chopped ginger Ginger paste is an easy substitute. If you are sensitive to spice, start with less ginger as you can always add more
- 1/2 lemon, juiced, plus additional lemon slices for garnish if desired
In a medium sauce pan, bring the apple cider, cinnamon sticks, star anise, bay leaf and ginger to a simmer. Reduce to low and cook for about 10 minutes to bring all of the flavors together.
Carefully taste to determine if you would like to adjust your spices (I often add more ginger for a slightly spicier drink). If you need to mellow out the flavors, add a tablespoon of water. If you make any adjustments, let the apple cider mixture continue to simmer for a few more minutes to let the flavors meld.
Once you have reached your desired level of spiciness, strain your mixture directly into your mugs, using a fine mesh strainer to catch the spices and ginger pieces.
Into each mug, add juice from 1/4 of a lemon and 1.5 oz bourbon, or desired amount.
Optional: Garnish with a cinnamon stick and lemon slice.
This cocktail is just as tasty served cold on the rocks. Let the cider mixture cool before serving.
Serve with or without bourbon.