Vanilla Bourbon Apple Cider

“Eggnog or apple cider?” should be the toughest question you have to ask yourself this weekend.

Christmasukkah is almost here and I couldn’t be more excited to flee the city and swap out smog for some snow.

I can’t promise you that no strained political commentary will make its way onto the dinner table as we inch closer to the apex of the holiday season. But my Vanilla Bourbon Apple Cider will for damn sure give you enough confidence to finally tell your sister-in-law that her fruitcake tastes like the tire of a dump truck.

Why make cocktails from scratch, you ask?? Much like cooking a meal at home, it’s more fun to consume something you (all by yo’ bad self) created. Plus, the syrups used in most bars are packed with sugar and freaky-deaky ingredients. Trust me when I say that Santa wouldn’t touch them dranks with a 10 foot pole.

This Cider is made with fresh-pressed apples. The old saying “an apple a day keeps the doc away” undeniably has some merit. The famous Nurses’ Health Study showed a 21% decrease in lung cancer in those who consumer higher amounts of apples. In the large scale Women’s Health study, women eating apples had a 13-22% decrease in cardiovascular disease. Another study showed a direct relationship between apple intake and lower asthma levels. Similar studies have shown lower levels of Type II diabetes in those who consume apples regularly. Plus, all of the antioxidants inside these fruits have protective effects on cancer cell growth. Combine that with the blood sugar regulating properties of cinnamon and BOOM– how ’bout them apples.

This drink is warming, subtly sweet, and slightly spicy– the perfect beverage to sip on when you want something boozy with a nutritional boost. It’s also an excellent libation to bring to a holiday parade while you’re standing on the sidewalk freezing your nuts off waving to Santa. Additionally, it’s a great choice to bring to a Christmas party you thought was Ugly Sweater themed, only it wasn’t.

Cheers, my dears. Here’s to a brighter, yummier, more beautiful New Year. See ya in 2017 🙂

Vanilla Bourbon Apple Cider

Makes: 2 dranks

  • 2 lbs of gala apples (or other sweet variety), freshly juiced
    • alternatively, you can use 2 cups of freshly pressed all-natural apple juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 4 cinnamon sticks
  • 1, 2″ piece vanilla bean
    • alternatively, you can use 3 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 3 ounces bourbon
  1. Combine apple juice, cloves, cinnamon, and vanilla bean or extract in a small saucepan over medium heat. Gently simmer for 5-7 minutes, until bubbly and fragrant.
  2. Remove from heat. If using freshly juiced apples, strain the mixture into a bowl. If using apple juice, skip this step and simply scoop out the cinnamon sticks and vanilla bean with a slotted spoon. Don’t worry about scooping out the vanilla bean if you used extract, obvs.
  3. Stir in the bourbon and then divide the mixture evenly into cups or mason jars. Plop a cinnamon stick or two back into each drink if you fancy a fancy drink.
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