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Holiday Spiced Honeycrisp Apple Cocktail

Honeycrisp apples combine with a holiday spiced simple syrup and bourbon for the perfect holiday apple cocktail. Don’t forget the cinnamon sugar rim!

View of a holiday spiced honeycrisp apple cocktail in a coup glass with a dried apple and star anise garnish with jar of simple syrup and apples in the background with recipe title at top

Oh man, I have a serious case of jet lag. But I promise I’m not complaining because I just spent a glorious 12 days in Hawaii and I have zero right to complain about anything right now. My vacation involved sun and food and pools and beaches and cocktails and books and hikes and adventure. Basically, all you could want in life.

And now I’m home and this week is Thanksgiving and I have NO idea how that happened since I’ve been off gallivanting in the sun with no indication that the holidays are here. But they’re here!!

In an effort to force myself into the holiday spirit as efficiently as possible, I’m cranking up the Christmas music and getting my holiday cooking and baking on this week. Also, doing ridiculous amounts of laundry. And snuggling with my dog (I missed her a ridiculous amount!). And trying desperately to stay awake all day so I can go to bed at a normal time and get back in the Mainland East Coast timezone.

Probably the last thing I need is a cocktail since I had about a million of them on vacation and having one right now would put me to sleep in an instant. But even if I’m not sipping on this Holiday Spiced Honeycrisp Apple Cocktail, I do know that having this holiday spiced simple syrup simmering away on  my stove will make my house smell deliciously like the holidays and will have me in the spirit in an instant.

And hopefully by Thursday, I’ll be ready for another drink or two because these would be the absolute perfect Thanksgiving cocktail!

HOLIDAY SPICED HONEYCRISP APPLE COCKTAIL RECIPE

This apple cocktail recipe is pretty easy and consists of making a simple syrup and an apple puree before shaking up with some bourbon and pouring into a glass.

First, can we talk about the glory that is honeycrisp apples? Are they not the most delicious apples in the universe? I’m a longtime macintosh lover, but have been buying more honeycrisp apples this fall. Of course, if you can’t find honecrisp apples (boo!), you can really use any type for this cocktail. It will still be delicious!

If you’ve never made simple syrup before, I promise that it’s super easy! This one is simply brown sugar, water, and some holiday spices. You bring to a boil in a saucepan and then let simmer until the syrup thickens. Store it in a mason jar or other container in the fridge.

Overhead view of holiday spiced simple syrup in a saucepan with cinnamon stick, star anise, and cloves

This holiday spiced simple syrup is my everything. If you’re not an alcohol drinker (or are just in need of a detox, like me), you can certainly add this syrup to soda water. I think it would be awesome swirled into oatmeal or yogurt, too!

Head-on view of a jar of holiday spiced simple syrup

For the apple puree, you’ll combine apple slices and water in a blender and then push through a strainer to get out as much liquid as you can. The first time I made this drink, I didn’t strain the puree, but once I put it in the fridge it thickened up a lot, so I recommend straining it. After rimming your glasses in cinnamon and sugar, shake together simple syrup, apple puree, and bourbon with ice and then pour into glasses.

Garnish your apple cocktails however you choose, but I especially recommend cinnamon apple chips and star anise. If you are making your own apple chips with a mandoline, I recommend being extremely careful since apples can be a little awkward. Yes, I’m speaking from experience and no, you don’t want to hear any more details about this. Just trust me.

You can also use any type of glass you have on hand, but I think this apple cocktail is best served in a coup glass; these are the glasses (affiliate link) I have if you’re looking for some good budget-friendly ones.

Overhead closeup view of a holiday spiced honeycrisp apple cocktail in a coup glass with jar of simple syrup and apples in the background

This is a cocktail I’ll certainly be sipping all holiday season long. When it comes to bourbon cocktails, I only need one to be happy. If bourbon isn’t for you (it’s not everyone’s favorite!), this apple cocktail would also be delicious made with vodka.

There’s certainly nothing complicated about this apple cocktail, though you can make it sound all kinds of fancy by bragging that you made your own apple juice/puree and slaved over a spiced simple syrup.

Overhead landscape view of two holiday spiced honeycrisp apple cocktails with jar of simple syrup and apple

If you serve it on Thanksgiving or Christmas, your guests will be seriously impressed that you had the time to pull it together. But really, you can make the puree and syrup in advance and just have everything ready to go for your guests’ arrivals.

On second thought, perhaps I need one of these honeycrisp apple cocktails this evening, so I can fall asleep at 11:00 p.m. instead of laying in bed feeling like it’s 6:00 p.m. (and wondering why it’s so freaking cold) and can power through my crazy to-do list the rest of the week.

View of a holiday spiced honeycrisp apple cocktail in a coup glass with a dried apple and star anise garnish with jar of simple syrup and apples in the background

I can’t wait to share my Hawaii adventures with you and will be sharing a post on the Big Island and a post on Maui in the coming weeks. But for now, I really need to get my head off the islands and into New England during the holidays. Here we go.

Are you feeling the holiday spirit yet?

For more delicious and festive holiday cocktails, check out my Hot Spiced Cranberry Cocktail and my Cranberry Pomegranate Sparklers. I also can’t wait to try these Peppermint Pina Coladas from The Blond Cook!

Holiday Spiced Honeycrisp Apple Cocktail -- Honeycrisp apples combine with a holiday spiced simple syrup and bourbon for the perfect holiday apple cocktail. Don't forget the cinnamon sugar rim | wearenotmartha.com
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5 from 8 votes

Holiday Spiced Honeycrisp Apple Cocktail

Honeycrisp apples combine with a holiday spiced simple syrup and bourbon for the perfect holiday apple cocktail. Don't forget the cinnamon sugar rim!
Prep Time8 mins
Cook Time12 mins
Total Time20 mins
Course: Drinks
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Apple Cocktails, Christmas Cocktails, Holiday Cocktails, Holiday Drinks
Servings: 4 cocktails
Author: Sues

Ingredients

  • 2 honeycrisp apples peeled, cored, and quartered (can use another apple variety if you can't find honeycrisp)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 Tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 oz. Holiday Spiced Simple Syrup (recipe below), plus more for glass rims
  • 6 oz. bourbon
  • Apple chips for garnish, if desired
  • Star anise for garnish, if desired

Holiday Spiced Simple Syrup

  • 1 1/2 cups light brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 8 cloves
  • 1 star anise
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger

Instructions

  • Put honeycrisp apple slices and water in a blender and blend until smooth for homemade apple puree.
  • Push puree mixture through a fine mesh sieve into a bowl or mason jar to get out as much juice as possible, leaving solids behind.
  • On a small plate, combine granulated sugar and cinnamon. Brush rims of cocktail glasses (coup glasses work well) lightly with holiday spiced simple syrup and twirl the glasses in the sugar/cinnamon mixture to coat rims.
  • Pour 4 oz. homemade apple puree, 3 oz. bourbon, and 1 oz. holiday spiced simple syrup into a shaker filled with ice and shake well. Pour into two glasses. Repeat with two remaining glasses.
  • Garnish each cocktail with apple chips and star anise, if desired.

Holiday Spiced Simple Syrup

  • Combine all ingredients into a small saucepan over high heat. Bring to a boil.
  • Lower heat and let simmer for about 10 minutes, until sugar is completely dissolved and syrup thickens.
  • Strain syrup into a jar or bowl to let cool completely. Store simple syrup in refrigerator. Leave cinnamon sticks and anise in the mixture, if desired, to continue to develop the flavor.

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9 Responses to "Holiday Spiced Honeycrisp Apple Cocktail"

  1. Jill says:

    5 stars
    Very pretty and bourbon is my spirit of choice! Plus so jealous you got to spend 12 days in Hawaii. Sounds wonderful!

  2. Lisa Bryan says:

    5 stars
    The perfect holiday cocktail – and so pretty!

  3. Ginny McMeans says:

    5 stars
    My taste buds jumped up even when I just read the title. This sounds so refreshing and festive. Thank you!

  4. Tina says:

    5 stars
    This looks delicious and what a nice touch with the star anise. Love this!

  5. Jillian says:

    5 stars
    This looks so festive!

  6. Dawn - Girl Heart Food says:

    5 stars
    What a freakin’ gorgeous cocktail, Sues! It looks so festive and all those flavours are delicious! It is 5 yet 😉 ??

  7. Umakant says:

    5 stars
    what a cocktail and this is perfect for best holiday, it looks amazing, i can’t wait making this drink. Thanks for sharing….!

  8. Umakant says:

    5 stars
    wow..! this is a fantastic drink for any holiday. and its looks amazing, i will trying to making this apple cocktail. Thanks for sharing….!

  9. Agness of Run Agness Run says:

    Yum! This cocktail seems so awesome and intriguing, Sues. I would love to try this beverage. Plus, that decoration is so inviting. 😉

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