Fall is pumpkin season and, in addition to all the pumpkin pies and pumpkin spice lattes out there, there are some unexpected pumpkin-infused goodies available, as well. One of these is the Pumpkin Cider from Ace Ciders. Despite the name, the hard cider is made with (high quality, of course) apples that are juiced and fermented. The cider is flavored with cinnamon, cloves and allspice – the same flavors that you get in pumpkin pie spice – and it has a deep orange-amber color to it. The result is a cider that has an apple base and the aroma of warm pumpkin pie spices, along with spicy, sweet flavor that will remind you of fall. It’s mildly carbonated and very tasty – especially compared to some of the questionable pumpkin beers that I’ve tried over the years.
This cocktail is topped of with pumpkin hard cider, bringing spice, sweetness and a little effervescence to the drink. Diluting the base cocktail with cider (which is essentially what is happening here) makes this drink last longer, so you can sip it while you catch up with friends and family in front of a warm fire. Or in front of a plate of cookies. Your choice.
The cocktail has a smooth bourbon base with some vanilla sweetness that contrasts with bright lemon juice. I added cinnamon-infused simple syrup to sweeten the drink and accent the spices in the cider. I didn’t go too heavy on the syrup because the cider has a pleasant sweetness to it and I didn’t want to cover it up. It’s refreshing and yet warming at the same time, a good choice for a breezy fall afternoon. Since the cider comes in large-ish bottles, consider serving this up when you have some friends to serve, though the leftover cider is good on its own.
If you can’t find the pumpkin cider or it is out of season, you can substitute another hard cider!
1 1/2 oz bourbon (I used Maker’s Mark)
3/4 oz lemon juice
1/2 oz cinnamon-infused syrup
2 oz Pumpkin Hard Cider
Combine bourbon, lemon juice and cinnamon simple syrup in a mixing glass, fill with ice and shake vigorously until well-chilled. Strain into a rocks glass filled with ice cubes and top of with pumpkin hard cider. Garnish with a cinnamon stick.