Make my easy hot caramel apple cider spiked with bourbon for a cozy fall and winter warm cocktail that's ready in under 10 minutes with just three ingredients! This spiked warm cider is simple to make and will make you feel warm and fuzzy in more ways than one. Let's get into the delicious details!
What does it taste like?
This is better than the Starbucks caramel apple spice--I've done the legwork! You'll taste sweet, spiced apple, buttery caramel notes, plus the warm, oaky vanilla flavor of bourbon. And the texture is smooth and creamy.
If you enjoy this recipe, you'll love my Apple Cider Hot Toddy with Whiskey!
Why You'll Love this Recipe
Quick and Easy - You only need three ingredients to enjoy this spiked hot cider drink and it comes together either in the microwave or on the stove top.
No Fancy Tools - Don't worry about pressing apples or making your own caramel. We're using everyday ingredients and tools to bring spiked and spiced apple cider to you on any given fall day.
Creamy, Cozy, and Comforting - I love curling up with this bourbon cider on cool fall evenings because it doesn't take much time so I can get straight to unwinding.
And if spiked warm drinks are your thing, you must try my Bourbon Gingerbread Hot Cocoa. And steaming mugs of creamy Red Wine Hot Chocolate is a family tradition (for the grown folks) around here every year!
What Do I Need for Bourbon Caramel Cider?
To make this easy spiked apple cider recipe, you'll only need three core ingredients and a couple of suggested garnishes.
Apple Cider - You can use homemade cider or bottled from the grocery store or farmer's market to keep things easy peasy. Look for it in the produce section at your grocery store or on the juice aisle.
Caramel Candies - They're typically individually wrapped and on the baking or candy aisle. Be sure to use soft caramel chews and not the hard candies!
Bourbon - Use your favorite bottle for this. The flavor comes through so reach for quality. I like Brough Brothers Bourbon or Bulleit Bourbon or Hudson Baby Bourbon when I'm feeling especially fancy, in this recipe.
Check out the recipe card below for full ingredients list, measurements, nutrition facts, and step-by-step instructions!
Substitutions & Variations
Juice versus Cider - You can get away with using plain apple juice in this recipe. Just add a stick of cinnamon during the heating steps.
Method - I've made this cider both on the stove top and in the microwave with equal success. It's the versatility for me.
Garnishes - I love whipped cream on top of this hot caramel cider because as it melts, the creaminess collides with the sweet, spiced, bourbon-y flavors to make pure magic, y'all. Don't forget a sprinkle of cinnamon, a cinnamon stick, or an apple slice for presentation points!
How to Make Boozy Apple Cider
Step One: Add apple cider to a saucepan over medium heat.
Step Two: Add in unwrapped caramel candies.
Pro Tip: You can also make this recipe in this microwave by heating the cider in a microwave safe glass and stirring in the caramels until dissolved.
Step Three: Stir mixture until caramel dissolves into apple cider to create a rich and smooth texture.
Step Four: Transfer cider into a mug and pour in bourbon.
Pro Tip: Use either the large side of a jigger or a shot glass to measure out the bourbon.
Step Five: Stir to combine all three ingredients.
Step Six: Garnish with whipped cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon.
This is one of my favorite warm cider recipes for fall. But because we don't get cooler weather right away in Houston, I typically start the season with my Apple Cider Gin & Tonic and highly recommend you add it to your fall bucket list!
Frequently Asked Questions
Absolutely. Just skip the bourbon or use your favorite zero-proof spirit for a sober fall mocktail recipe that's just as fun.
Yes, especially since we add the bourbon after heating the cider. But it's not strong, depending on your tolerance. If you want to tone down the alcohol, add it during the heating recipe step so that some of the alcohol cooks out.
Homemade Apple Bourbon Cider How-To Video
More Warm Fall Drinks to Try
I hope you enjoy a mug of spiked caramel cider soon and very soon--and let me know how you like it. And sharing is caring so be sure to pin this bourbon caramel apple cider recipe for later and follow me over on Pinterest. Thanks for reading!
Bourbon Caramel Apple Cider
- 1 saucepan
- 1 spoon
- 1 jigger or shot glas
- 2 cups apple cider
- ½ cup bourbon whiskey
- 12 caramel candies unwrapped
- whipped cream optional garnish
- cinnamon optional garnish
- Add apple cider and caramel to a small saucepan over medium-high heat.
- Stirring regularly, heat mixture until caramels melt then lower heat (about two minutes).
- Once cider reaches a uniform consistency (about two minutes), turn off heat then stir in bourbon.
- Divide cider evenly between two mugs and garnish with whipped cream and cinnamon, if desired. Enjoy carefully and responsibly!