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This apple bourbon smash is crisp, refreshing, and naturally sweet. With freshly muddled apple and lemon, bourbon, maple syrup, and a cinnamon sugar rim. It's the perfect bourbon cocktail for cooler autumn days. It's easy to mix up, and it's ready in under 10 minutes!
Here's a bourbon apple cocktail recipe that will put you in the mood for fall.
This apple bourbon smash recipe is sweetened with maple syrup which is more interesting and flavorful than sugar or simple syrup. It has lots of freshly muddled apple and lemon juice, and the cinnamon sugar rim adds warm spices for cooling temperatures.
It's the perfect festive and easy-to-make cocktail for cozy gatherings or holiday parties.
What is a bourbon smash?
A smash is a cold fruity cocktail that highlights the best ingredients of the season. It has a few basic elements: a spirit (vodka, bourbon, and whiskey all work well), ice, sometimes a splash of water, mint (or another herb), sugar, and your seasonal fruit of choice.
The ingredients are muddled up and shaken with ice until cold, then strained and served in a rocks glass. It's a versatile, easy-to-make, and seasonally flexible drink that everyone loves!
Maple bourbon smash ingredients
Here's everything you'll need to make an apple bourbon smash:
- Apple – your favorite apple variety will get muddled to release its delicious juices.
- Lemon – lemon will add brightness to this sweet drink.
- Bourbon – there are so many good, affordable bottles of bourbon out there and some are sweeter than others. It doesn't need to be fancy or aged for mixing into this drink.
- Maple syrup – adds delicious maple flavor and sweetness.
For the cinnamon sugar, you'll need:
- Granulated sugar
You'll also need a cocktail shaker and a muddler.
How to make an apple bourbon smash
Whip up this easy-to-make drink in a few simple steps:
- Start by making the cinnamon sugar. Mix the cinnamon sugar ingredients in a small, wide dish.
- Next, rim your glass by running a cut lemon around the rim, then dipping the wet rim into the cinnamon sugar. Then, fill the glass with ice.
- Now place the chopped apple and lemon slices in a cocktail shaker and muddle well so the fruit releases its juices.
- Add ice, bourbon, and maple syrup to the shaker and shake until everything is cold. Strain it into the glass, and serve garnished with apple slices and a cinnamon stick. Cheers!
Full recipe instructions are in the recipe card below.
Can I make it ahead of time?
You can muddle the apple and lemon ahead of time and store it in the fridge for 2-3 hours. Because it's shaken with ice, the rest should be made in the moment.
Can I use simple syrup instead of maple syrup?
In a pinch! Simple syrup will add sweetness but the drink will be missing the rich maple flavor. You could also use 1-2 tablespoons of cane sugar.
Can I use apple cider instead of muddling fresh apples?
Using apple cider will change the taste and feel of the drink. It won't be a smash, but it will still be delicious.
Can I use rye whiskey instead of bourbon?
Yes! Rye whiskey tends to be a bit bolder and spicier but if that's your thing (or it's what you have on hand), go for it!
Favorite autumn cocktail recipes
- ½ medium apple (chopped)
- ½ lemon (sliced)
- 2 ounces bourbon (¼ cup)
- 1 ounce maple syrup (2 tablespoons)
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon nutmeg
- Mix the cinnamon sugar ingredients in a small, wide dish.1 tablespoon granulated sugar, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, ½ teaspoon nutmeg
- Run a cut lemon around the rim of a glass then dip the wet rim into the cinnamon sugar. Then fill the glass with ice.
- Put the chopped apple and lemon slice in a cocktail shaker and muddle well.½ medium apple, ½ lemon
- Fill the shaker with ice then add the bourbon and maple syrup and shake until it's cold. Strain into the glass and garnish with apple slices and a cinnamon stick.2 ounces bourbon, 1 ounce maple syrup
We have thoroughly tested this recipe for accuracy. However, individual results may vary. See our full recipe disclosure here.