With all the flavors of a crisp fall day, this apple old fashioned is only four ingredients, including your favorite bourbon and delicious, homemade apple cider simple syrup.
This delicious fall and winter cocktail is NOT a cinnamon apple old fashioned. We’re skipping the cinnamon stick, apple butter, and even the apple whiskey and apple brandy for this drink.
Instead we’re using your favorite bourbon in your home bar and getting the spice from aromatic bitters.
Sweetened with apple cider syrup that’s infused with sage, orange peel, and lemon peel, an apple old fashioned is a delicious twist on a classic old fashioned cocktail, perfect for a fall cocktail hour.
- Bourbon - Choose your favorite classic bourbon, but stay away from rye blends for this drink.
- Apple cider syrup - This easy syrup takes 10 minutes to make and keeps for weeks in the refrigerator. Make it ahead of time and mix up this Apple Cider Bourbon Cocktail in minutes.
- An orange - Grab a fresh orange with thick skin since you'll be using the peel of the orange in the drink.
- Aromatic bitters - Angostura are the gold standard in aromatic bitters, but whatever brand you have on hand is great.
- Cocktail cherries (optional) - The classic old fashioned garnish, use high quality cherries if you enjoy them, or skip the cherry in favor of apple slices for garnish.
How to Make an Apple Cider Old Fashioned
In a mixing glass half filled with ice cubes, add the bourbon, cider syrup, orange juice, and aromatic bitters.
Stir well for 10-15 seconds.
Strain your cocktail into a rocks glass with a large ice cube in it.
Express a piece of orange peel over your cocktail and drop the peel into the glass. Garnish with 1-2 cocktail cherries or apple slices. Enjoy!
Recipe for Homemade Apple Cider Syrup
Get my recipe for Apple Cider Syrup! It’s full of fall flavor and easy to make in just 10 minutes. It keeps in the refrigerators for weeks and is delicious in lots of drinks.
- Make your syrup ahead of time. Apple Cider Syrup keeps for a couple of weeks, so feel free to make it several days ahead of time so it’s ready for cocktail hour.
- Use well-chilled syrup. Using hot or room temperature syrup will cause the ice in your drink to melt too quickly and you’ll end up with a watered-down cocktail.
- If it’s not apple cider season or you can’t find apple cider, substitute a non-filtered apple juice like Simply Apple when making your syrup.
FAQs and Substitutions
Use your favorite straight bourbon in this recipe. Just avoid any bourbons with added flavors like honey, cinnamon, or apple. I like Four Roses Single Barrel or Buffalo Trace bourbon in my old fashioned cocktails.
Yes. But if you don’t have time or just don’t want to make Apple Cider Syrup, you can replace it with brown sugar syrup in this recipe and use apple cider instead of the orange juice.
No. Squeeze a fresh orange for this cocktail. It makes a BIG difference. Plus you need the peel for the drink as well.
Walnut bitters would be a delicious substitute if you don’t have aromatic bitters on hand.