Sipping autumn: Apple Cider Old Fashioned

by Terry B on November 1, 2017

A seasonal spin on the classic old fashioned, made with bourbon, apple cider, maple syrup and rosemary. Recipe below.

Apple Cider Old Fashioned

Our recent road trip had a definite autumnal feel, everywhere we traveled. Crisp, chilly mornings followed by warm, sunny afternoons with deep blue fall skies. Followed later by rainy, misty gray weather the last two days on the road.

We didn’t see the blaze of color we’d been hoping for, especially along the Skyline Drive in the Blue Ridge Mountains in Shenandoah National Park. We were too early for some of the changing colors, and the year’s drought limited the changes we did see to mostly yellows and browns. Still, it was a glorious time to be driving through this beautiful part of the world. And yes, we did hike a tiny piece of the Appalachian Trail.

Appalachian Trail, Shenandoah National Park

This cocktail is built on autumnal and outdoorsy flavors that evoke the changing season. Apple cider, rosemary and maple syrup team up with bourbon to create the base. Lemon juice adds a needed bright note, and a few dashes of bitters echo the bittersweetness of fall.

Apple Cider Old Fashioned
Makes 1 generous cocktail

fresh rosemary
2 ounces bourbon (we’re liking Town Branch these days)
2 ounces fresh apple cider
1 ounce fresh lemon juice
1/2 ounce maple syrup
3 dashes angostura bitters
apple slice for garnish (optional)

Muddle a sprig of rosemary and the bourbon in a cocktail shaker. Add cider, lemon juice, syrup, bitters and some ice, and shake to combine and chill. Strain into an ice-filled rocks glass. Or a cool vintage coupe that probably once was used to serve sherbet, and that you picked up at an antique mall in South Charleston, West Virginia. Garnish with a rosemary sprig and apple slice. Serve.

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

John/Kitchen Riffs November 1, 2017 at 8:29 am

Love apple cider drinks at this time of the year! We usually do a hot spiced cider with rum (basically a toddy, I guess), but I’ve been experimenting with actual cider cocktails, too. This looks terrific — and I’m always a sucker for anything with rosemary. Thanks!

Dani H November 1, 2017 at 8:17 pm

I love the idea of using maple syrup.

It sounds like you had a nice trip.

Susie November 3, 2017 at 9:26 pm

Sounds yummy! And your trip sounds great!

Wendy November 4, 2017 at 1:22 am

This sounds great. Would it work without the bitters I wonder?

Terry B November 5, 2017 at 3:27 pm

John, I’m a big fan of rum. May have to try your drink too.

Dani, the maple syrup is actually something Marion’s been doing in a similar drink for years. It’s a nice, woodsy alternative to straight simple syrup. And the trip was indeed nice.

Thanks, Susie!

Wendy, the first time I made this drink, I didn’t use the bitters. It was very good like that, but the bitters add a nice layer and kind of counterbalance the sweetness of the cider and the syrup. But it is certainly quite drinkable without them.

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