Apple Spiced Bourbon Toddies

Apple spice bourbon hot toddies being poured into glasses from a thermos.

What makes this recipe really sing: Don’t skimp on the fresh cider here. When the cider is simmered and thickened, the flavor is intensely apple, and intensely autumn! Star anise and cinnamon stick will fill your house with a delicious aroma – you might want to quadruple this recipe and keep it warm on the stove throughout a cold winter evening with friends.

Toss a few slices of crisp apple and a squeeze of orange juice in the warm cider if you have it. For a true toddy, float a pat of butter on each drink and relax by the fire.–Claire Robinson

LC Tis the Season Note

Honestly? We’re not so smitten with cooler weather. Except, natch, as an excuse to luxuriate in beef oxtails, duck confit, hot toddies, and the like. So, a toast, to the arrival of a new season as a harbinger of lovely things. (Clink!)

Apple Spiced Bourbon Toddies

  • Quick Glance
  • (1)
  • 5 M
  • 15 M
  • Makes 4 cocktails
5/5 - 1 reviews
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Place the cider, cinnamon, and star anise in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Cook until the liquid has reduced by half and has intensified in flavor, about 10 minutes. Add the lemon juice and bourbon and stir until warmed through. If desired, place over low, low heat and cover partially to keep warm until needed.

Pour into warmed mugs or snifters and garnish with a cinnamon stick and star anise and, if desired, a pat of butter.

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Recipe Testers' Reviews

This made me long for a cool autumn evening with a roaring fireplace (it was 86°F (30°C) outside when I made this, so that is quite a feat!). I used unsweetened apple cider, since this was to be reduced, and it was quite sweet and full of apple-y goodness. My house was bursting with those beautiful, sweet, fall apple aromas. The lemon juice brightens and offsets the sweetness quite well, and the flavor of the bourbon really blooms from the heat. Adding the cinnamon and star anise at the end gives it a nice hint of spice, without being overpowering. The final amount here is three cups, which provides a healthy dose of bourbon in each cup, and we went for it with gusto, and shared it between the two of us. We were both a little toddled from the alcohol in these toddies (which is the point, after all isn’t it?!), but they’ll be a delightful warm and soothing sip to have on a cold, chilly day.

Winter is my least favorite season. I just don’t like being cold. But this year, it will all be more bearable, thanks to this delicious, warming toddy. I’m envisioning coming in from a long hike on cold day, chilled to the bone, lighting a fire, and warming myself from the inside out sipping this bourbon-spiked drink. The flavor is, as promised, intensely apple-y. The bourbon is discernible, primarily from the characteristic vanilla overtones it lends to the drink. The spices fill the house with an aroma that will draw everyone into the kitchen to find out what’s on the stove.

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    1. You’re right, Noah. But of course there’s more than that. There’s also corn whiskey, wheat whiskey, and malt whiskeys, among others. I believe the author was going for her particular favorite, which is bourbon, and then bereft of that another whiskey.

  1. This hot toddy recipe sounds like a fabulous winter comfort beverage to me! Will give it a try after the holiday indulgences fade away a bit.

    Thanks so much for linking to my “new BBC” recipe. 🙂


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