Easy Spiked Apple Cider Batch Cocktail Recipe

By Brittni • Updated on 10/25/2023

It’s that spiked apple cider time of year! By far, one of my go-to fall cocktails. Have you ever tried it?

Overhead white table with apple cider cocktails in coupe glasses with cinnamon sticks

I’ve been making this spiked apple cider for the last couple of years and it never fails! It’s the perfect fall cocktail to warm you up and get you in the cozy spirit.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve always loved (non-alcoholic) homemade apple cider as well. But then I tried the spiked version at some holiday party years ago and I just can’t go back.  

It tastes oh-so-good AND warms you up like nobody’s business.

So I’m sharing the easy recipe, in case anyone needs a holiday cocktail idea that can be made in a large batch, like this one. AND because it can be batched, its perfect for fall parties. 

Apples, oranges, and cinnamon sticks floating in spiked cider punch bowl

Is apple cider just apple juice?

Nope, apple cider and apple juice are not the same. 

The main difference between the two is that apple cider is fresh and unfiltered apple juice. It has a more earthy taste and is often unpasteurized. 

Apple juice, however is filtered, pasteurized, and has a sweeter, smoother taste.

Additionally, grocery stores have apple juice year-round. Whereas, apple cider is often only found in the fall months, since it’s widely considered a favorite fall drink and not a year-round beverage.

Does all apple cider have alcohol in it?

No, fresh apple cider does not contain alcohol. But ‘hard cider’ does. Hard cider is the adult version of apple cider and it’s an alcoholic drink that is made from fermented apple juice.

Is spiked apple cider a good cocktail for holiday parties?

Definitely! Spiked apple cider is great for making batch cocktails for holiday and fall parties. Why? Because they make things easier for the host AND it looks pretty and festive too. They may even feel inclined to help restock when the punch bowl runs low (bc it’s easy to spot). Win-win!

The thing I love most about big batch cocktails like this one, is that they can be served in a punch bowl. 

That means guests can serve themselves, which makes it easy for guest to have as much or as little as they’d like. Without having to ask the host to make them something.

Bonus! The fact that I get to break out my rarely used (very pretty) punch bowl, is also a pretty good incentive.

Great cocktail for a holiday potluck

It could also be a great option to bring / make for a holiday potluck once all the food has been covered.

And I promise the host will love that someone thought to bring a spiked punch to the party. Though you may want to check ahead of time, just in case.

All that to say, if you’re hosting a holiday party or having a few guests over for something more low key, I strongly recommend this recipe.

What alcohol is good with apple cider?

Generally, apple cider goes best with dark spirits. Examples of darks spirits would be: whiskey, dark rum (or spiced rum), brandy, and even your favorite bourbon.

Should apple cider be served hot or cold?

Both! This particular fall cocktails recipe can be served hot OR cold.

Punch bowl filled with cider, apples, cinnamon sticks, and oranges

Ingredients for Simple Cider Whiskey Punch

  • 4-6 cups of your favorite whiskey (or bourbon) – The amount you add to this recipe will depend on how strong you like your drinks.
  • 6 cups of apple cider NOT apple juice – The apple cider can be homemade or store-bought. If you do happen to make homemade apple cider before starting this recipe, why not turn it into a full-on fall outing and head to an apple orchard for some apple picking at a local farm. It will make your cider taste that much fresher (and delicious).
  • 1/2 cup of fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup of water – If you decide to skip out on using ice, double the amount of water.
  • 1.5 tsp cinnamon
  • 1.5 tsp nutmeg
  • honey to taste (optional)
  • garnish – Cinnamon sticks, star anise, orange slices, apple slices, whole cloves, and edible flowers are all great options for this one.

How to Make Spiked Cider Whiskey Punch

Spiked apple cider is a fall favorite for so many people. And with good reason. 

Just thinking about serving up a hot apple cider cocktail on a chilly day makes me feel warm inside. 

BUT the good news is, hot spiked cider isn’t the only way you can serve this festive drink. 

You can also serve homemade apple cider cocktails cold! 

Which, as you can probably guess, is a great way to save some time and energy. No large pot or stove pot required.

1.  Combine main ingredients.

Combine whiskey, apple cider, lemon juice, and water.

Which is all ingredients listed, minus the last line of embellishments. Sprinkle in cinnamon and nutmeg.

2. Stir and pour.

Then stir. Pour over ice.

3. Add honey if desired.

Add honey to taste, if needed. This is a preference thing. Honey tends to balance out booze. But it’s no for everyone. So give your cocktail a quick sip and determine if you want to add a  little honey or leave it as-is.

4. Add embellishments if desired.

One of my favorite ways to add a finishing touch to these cocktails is by decorating them with a few edible embellishments. It might even earn you an extra brownie point or two amongst your guests, since it looks so fancy.

Add whole cinnamon sticks, fresh oranges, candied orange peel, apple slices, and orange rounds for decorative top floaters.

*Extra tip – If it’s an especially blistering winter evening, try making this recipe over the stove in a big pot for a warm drink everyone can sip on.

Hold the cinnamon sticks, and add them in as you serve as a little garnish.

Cocktails in coupe glasses with dramatic lighting

Cold-weather drinks like this one are a personal favorite. Speaking of cocktails…

3 More Cocktail Recipes You’ll Love

Now that you have all the details, scroll to the bottom of this post for the printer-friendly recipe card.

P.S. Here’s the link to my punch bowl and my coupe glasses.

Punch bowl filled with apple cider, orange slices, apple slices, and cinnamon sticks for the holidays apple cider cocktails on white table, next to glass punch bowl, sunlight shining through Apple and orange slices for spiked cider in punch bowl (batch cocktails for the holidays) Apple cider punch recipe overhead on white table in glass punch bowl

Overhead spiked cider in coupe glass with flower and cinnamon stick

Spiked cider cocktails in coupe glasses with cinnamon sticks on top

Easy spiked cider recipe in a punch bowl with sliced oranges and apples

(Easy) Spiked Cider Holiday Punch Recipe

Brittni
Make this easy spiked cider whiskey punch in batches to save time and allow guests to serve themselves. It's the perfect holiday cocktail for parties and can be served hot or cold.
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Ingredients
  

  • 4 cups of whiskey (or bourbon) depending on how strong you like your drinks
  • 6 cups of cider steer clear of any apple juice from concentrate
  • .5 cup of fresh lemon juice
  • .5 cup of water if you skip on using ice, double this amount
  • 1.5 tsp cinnamon
  • 1.5 tsp nutmeg
  • cinnamon sticks, apple slices, and orange rounds (optional to float on top)

Instructions
 

  • Combine whiskey, cider, lemon juice, and water.
  • Sprinkle in cinnamon and nutmeg. Then stir.
  • Pour over ice and add cinnamon sticks, apple slices, and orange rounds for top floaters.

Notes

TIP: If it's an especially blistering winter evening, try making this recipe over the stove in a big pot for a warm drink everyone can sip on.
Hold the cinnamon sticks, and add them in as you serve as a little garnish.
Did you make this?Mention @paperandstitch or tag #paperandstitch!

I hope my favorite fall drink recipe makes the colder months a little brighter. Now I want to hear from you.

Have you done a spiked cider or any kind of batch cocktail for holiday parties in the past? 

What did you make? I’m curious to hear what you’re making this holiday season.

4 comments | Click here to reply

It’s too pretty to drink but I’m going to do it anyway. 😉 This will be perfect for my Christmas Eve cocktails.

Denise Reeser

Great Post!! Absolutely amazing.

Nippon

Thanks Paige. Yay! We share a favorite holiday drink!

Brittni

This cider looks amazing! It’s one of my favorite holiday drinks!

Paige
http://thehappyflammily.com

Paige Cassandra Flamm
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