This Caramel Bourbon Apple Cider Cocktail is a warm fall beverage spiked with vodka and bourbon and steeped with caramel sauce and cinnamon sticks. A heartwarming spiced drink with a whipped cream topping is perfect for sipping fireside or together with friends.
Apple Cider Cocktail
This steamy fall beverage is the perfect holiday cocktail to serve for guests during parties, Thanksgiving, or even Christmas.
With an apple cider base, this cocktail combines both vodka and bourbon for a smokey fall flavor that’s intensified by caramel sauce and cinnamon. It’s also served warm so it’s perfect for enjoying during those colder months.
Serve this steamy drink with a huge slice of pumpkin bread for the ultimate fall treat.
Ingredients in Caramel Bourbon Apple Cider Cocktail
- Caramel Vodka (or plain vodka)
- Apple Cider
- Caramel Sauce
- Cinnamon Sticks
- Whole Cloves (optional)
- Whole Star Anise (pptional)
- Whipped Cream or Cool Whip
How to Make Bourbon Apple Cider Cocktail
This cocktail is extremely easy to prepare. If you plan on serving it for a crowd you can easily double the recipe or you can also make a single serving.
- Place the caramel vodka, apple cider, bourbon, caramel sauce, and cinnamon sticks (cloves and star anise if using) into a large pot set over low heat.
- Let simmer until just steaming.
- Ladle the beverage into heatproof glasses and top with Cool Whip.
Tips for Making this Apple Cider Cocktail
- Don’t let the cocktail mixture boil. You’re just heating it slightly so it’s warm and steamy.
- If this drink isn’t as strong as you would like you can easily add more alcohol.
- If you use homemade whipped cream it will start to seep into the beverage whereas Cool Whip will remain perfectly on top. Either one is delicious.
You can just as easily prepare this drink in the crockpot if you want to have it ready all day long. Below are the instructions.
- Place the vodka, apple cider, bourbon, caramel sauce, and cinnamon sticks into the crockpot and set to low.
- The beverage will be ready to serve in about 30 minutes to an hour.
- Ladle the drink into heatproof glasses or mugs and top with Cool Whip.
Single Serve Instructions
Place 1 ounce of caramel vodka, 1.5 ounces bourbon, 1/2 cup apple cider, 1 teaspoon caramel sauce, and 1 cinnamon stick into a small saucepan set over low heat. Allow the mixture to heat slowly and pour it into a heatproof glass. Top with Cool Whip and cinnamon.
How to Store this Caramel Bourbon Apple Cider Cocktail
If you end up not drinking every last drop of this drink then you can store it in the refrigerator. Allow the drink to cool completely and pour it into a jar with a tight-fitting lid (this is a link to ones I use all the time). It will last in the fridge for 5 to 7 days. To reheat it pour out a single serving or the remaining cocktail into a pot and heat on low until steamy.
Does heating this cocktail eliminate the alcohol?
You want to warm the beverage so it’s steamy and you’re going to do it at a low simmer. This will keep the alcohol from evaporating. Just as it’s warmed remove it from the hot burner.
Can I use rum instead of vodka?
Of course! You can easily change the vodka for rum in this cocktail and it will taste similar, while still being completely heartwarming.
Do I have to use caramel vodka?
No. If you can’t find it or would prefer to use plain vodka you certainly can. I recommend adding an additional tablespoon of caramel sauce to get that extra flavor.
Can I use real whipped cream instead of Cool Whip?
Yes! I sometimes will swap the Cool Whip for real whipped cream and it adds additional sweetness to the beverage. I recommend adding some cinnamon to the homemade whipped cream.
Can this bourbon apple cider cocktail be served chilled?
Yes! You don’t have to heat this drink up at all and it will still be just as tasty.
Consider trying these apple cider cocktails next:
Caramel Bourbon Apple Cider Cocktail
- 1½ cups Caramel Vodka or plain
- 1/2 gallon Apple Cider
- 3/4 cup Bourbon
- 2 tablespoons Caramel Sauce
- 4 Cinnamon Sticks
- 3 Star Anise optional
- 1 teaspoon Whole Cloves optional
- 2 cups Cool Whip
- In a large pot, set to low heat, combine the vodka, apple cider, bourbon, caramel sauce, and cinnamon sticks.
- Simmer the mixture for 30 minutes before planning to serve it.
- Using a ladle scoop the drink mixture into heatproof mugs are glasses and spoon a generous amount of cool whip on top of each drink. Sprinkle with cinnamon if desired.