5 Hot Cider Cocktails to Get You Through the Winter

5 Hot Cider Cocktails to Get You Through the Winter


Be honest, even on the sunniest San Francisco winter weekend sometimes all you really want to do is hibernate at home and power watch Netflix. But how will you drown that annoying FOMO? Hot cider is your ticket to guilt-free slacking this winter.

Warming and boozy, a few mugs of steaming wassail will help douse any remaining ambitions you have to be productive or social. We’ve collected recipes from several of our favorite bartenders and cider makers. 


Hot Buttered Cider

(All recipes are single portion)

Star bartender Kevin Diedrich has been making this warming cider for years and plans to offer it throughout the season at his new digs Turnkey at Cantina. 


2 oz Appleton Estate Signature Blend Jamaica Rum

3 oz black tea infused cider

1 slice of butter

.25 oz brown sugar syrup

cinnamon stick

fresh nutmeg

1. Heat cider till simmering, turn off the heat, and drop in a tea bag.

2. After steeping three minutes, remove the tea bag and stir in the syrup and butter.

3. Add the rum and garnish with the cinnamon stick and nutmeg.

Mulled Bourbon Cider

Jolie Devoto-Wade from Devoto Orchards Cider said her favorite recipe comes from Kimberley Hasselbrink's blog, The Year in Food.


1 cup hard, dry cider

1 oz bourbon

1 tablespoon honey

2 slice fresh ginger

2 cardamom pods

1 cinnamon sticks

1/4 teaspoon black peppercorns

Lady apples, sliced thinly, for garnish

1. In a medium pan over low heat, combine the cider, bourbon, honey and spices.

2. Bring to a gentle simmer, then turn off heat and cover.

3. The longer it steeps the spicier the drink.

Hottie Meets Toddy

Bar Mia’s lead bartender, Adam Mardigras, has his own way to make the season bright, “When I think about the winter, I think about the holidays, but mostly a snowy or cold day with family relaxing and having a good time next to the fireplace. My winter cocktail is three classic drinks put together; it's a Mojito, a Beautiful, and a Hot Toddy all in one."


1/2 oz of Grand Marnier

1 oz of Limoncello

1.5 oz Apple Jack Brandy

3/4 ounce Lime Juice

1/2 ounce Warm Apple Cider

1. Pour 1 cup of hot water in snifter to warm the glass; then discard.

2. Combine all ingredients in the snifter; add 1 cup of hot water and 2 sprigs of fresh mint in the glass.

3. Garnish with a lemon wheel that has 6 cloves poked in the outside rim of the lemon.

Hot Apple Pie

Jeffrey House, Owner of Ace Cider has a simple take on this classic après ski warmer.

1. For each 12 ounce bottle of Ace Joker, add one half ounce of Tuaca Hazelenut liqueur.

2. Heat gently in a covered pot.

3. When ready to drink, drop in two cinnamon sticks and top with whipped cream.

Maple Bourbon Cider

Dan Gordon, co-founder of Gordon Biersch Brewing Co, now makes a bone dry cider called Wildcide that’s perfect to winterize this traditional cocktail. 


1.5 ounces Bourbon

1 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon maple syrup

1/4 cup apple cider

Cayenne pepper

1. Heat cider till steaming.

2. Stir in maple syrup, then add bourbon and the lemon juice.

3. Top with a sprinkle of pepper.

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