If you’re not so smitten with the nippy fall and the gloomy winter months, the oh-so-comforting seasonal cider can provide a welcome respite.

A hot, fortified cider is not just a tonic for chilly winter days. Add a generous splash of bourbon and it can reinvigorate the life and soul of any dinner party or soiree. In fact, whether you are snuggled up next to a campfire under the stars or on the sofa, reading a book, this cocktail makes for a perfect companion.

The expansive warmth envelopes you instantly, and the spicy and citrusy notes tantalizes your taste buds. Don’t worry, the bourbon’s presence will not be lost in the mix. And the best thing about this ultimate crowd pleaser? You can build on the spiciness and add more heat or experiment with your choice of bourbon for unique flavour dimensions.

Modify the recipe per your tastes, and you may just have the makings of a family tradition that will carry you into many a holiday season.


  • Bourbon – 2 cups
  • For spiced syrup – Cider – 4 cups
  • Cloves – 3 whole
  • Cinnamon – 1 stick
  • Freshly grated ginger – a pinch
  • Star anise – 1 piece
  • Orange and lemon peels (optional)
  • FOR GARNISH: Orange slices

The Process

Bring it to a boil before letting it simmer for around five minutes

Remove from the heat and let it sit for ten minutes.

Strain the hot cider and add the bourbon. Mix it well.

Pour the concoction into a container or punch bowl.

Toss in a few slices of orange to float on top.

Serve the drink warm in mugs, tea cups, or hot toddy glasses, and dust it with nutmeg!