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Maple Bourbon Cider

I used to think if September had a flavor, it would be apple cider – until I made this Maple Bourbon Apple Cider cocktail. The tart taste of fresh apple cider, sweet maple syrup, smoky bourbon and a kick of cayenne pepper all come together for a zesty cocktail that’s the epitome of early autumn.

Adding maple syrup in a cocktail seems a little over-the-top, especially since apple cider is already so sweet. Adjust the amounts of syrup and cider to your liking, but the maple really adds a unique flavor to the drink to complement the other ingredients. The sweetness of the cider is also balanced out by the smoky bourbon and tangy lemon juice. To make sure the cider doesn’t mask the taste of the whiskey, add more bourbon if you’d like (within reason, of course).

Whip up this fall treat in time for National Bourbon Heritage Month. It’s especially enjoyable after going apple picking with your family. Trust me, you’ll probably be jonesing for a cocktail.



  • 4 ounces bourbon (I used Maker’s Mark)
  • 3/4 cup apple cider
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • Cayenne pepper (optional)

Pour bourbon, cider, syrup and lemon juice in a cocktail shaker. Shake, then pour over ice.




Add cayenne pepper on top for an added kick, if desired.



For me, the cayenne was the best part. After the alcohol, of course.

Makes: 2

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