On the cusp of so many winter holidays, there are going to be dozens of upcoming occasions when you’ll be glad to have an easy, crowd-pleasing cocktail recipe in your back pocket. We’re not talking a stuffy, 11-ingredient drink that requires a speakeasy’s worth of bar equipment, tools, special ice or obscure ingredients. Our favorite late fall cider cocktail is more along the lines of impromptu gatherings, when 2 guests magically turn into 10, and everyone is feeling festive and thirsty.
You don’t need to call yourself a mixologist to craft this tasty cocktail! The base is Jack’s Hard Cider—any of our crisp, balanced flavors will do. As our Georgia sales rep Mary MacRae—who also happens to be the creator of this drink—puts it, it’s easy to “freehand” this concoction.
Pour 1–2 ounces of your favorite bourbon (something local, or a tasty apple infusion, perhaps) over ice cubes in a 10- to 12-ounce glass. Top with Jack’s Hard Cider. You can garnish with an apple wedge, or if you want to get fancy, add a caramel cinnamon sugar rim and serve in a martini glass.
Aside from being delicious and refreshing, our favorite part of this cocktail is that it makes life easier for you. If you’re hosting, set up a drinks station with empty glasses, an ice bucket, cans of chilled Jack’s, a jigger or shot glass and a bottle of bourbon. Write down simple recipe instructions on a card displayed by the ingredients, and let the guests serve themselves.
Or take a note from the party planners of the past and bust out Grandma’s crystal punch bowl (very easy to find at thrift stores!). Scale up the recipe and mix a big batch of the drink, complete with sliced apples and lemon and orange rounds floating prettily in the bowl. Just take care not to make it too strong! Overpowering punch can spell big trouble at even the most grown-up parties.
This bourbon cider bev also batches well for tailgating, carolling, hanging by a bonfire or any of the merry outdoor activities of the season. Simply fill up an insulated to-go bottle and be the hero of the day.
What’s your go-to cider cocktail for wintertime fun? Let us know in the comments!
Jack’s Hard Cider — Produced from Pennsylvania Apples. Pressed On-Site. Never from Concentrate.
Photos, top to bottom: Mary MacRae; Pexels; Mary Bigham