Apple Cider, Bourbon and Amaretto Cocktails with Brûléed Oranges

Apple Cider, Bourbon and Amaretto Cocktails with Brûléed Oranges
  • Apple Cider, Bourbon and Amaretto Cocktails with Brûléed Oranges
Posted on September 19, 2016

Hi Friends! Happy Monday! I’ve got an awesome Fall-themed celebratory cocktail recipe to share with you all today. It wasn’t the recipe that I had originally planned to post. In fact, I had something much more sensible in the queue (a vegan potato salad). But then I decided to say “the heck with it” and went with the giggle juice instead. I figured we’d all be happier if I did. Am I right?

Life lesson 127: cocktails always trump potato salads.

Cider Hill Farm in Amesbury, MA |

We haven’t even officially entered Fall yet, but I’m already getting to work on my Fall bucket list. Which always includes at least two obligatory trips to a local apple orchard for apple picking. It’s a quintessential New England activity that always puts a smile on my face. And did I mention that there are fresh donuts involved? Well, there are. That alone is reason enough to head out to the farms. Especially since they are apparently calorie free! Who knew?!?!

Cider Hill Farm in Amesbury, MA |

Oh and the fresh pressed apple cider (or “liquid gold”, as I like to call it) is to die for as well. It’s my favorite Fall beverage. And it just so happens to go exceedingly well with some of my go-to brown liquors, like bourbon and amaretto. I buy it by the gallons (I’m talking about the apple cider here, not the brown liquors) and then proceed to complain when it doesn’t all fit in my refrigerator. First world problems.

So true to form, I picked up some fresh apple cider from Cider Hill Farm last week and got straight to work on creating the recipe for these Apple Cider, Bourbon and Amaretto Cocktails with Brûléed Oranges. The drink part itself is very straightforward. There are no hard-to-find ingredients required or fussy techniques. In fact, all you really have to do is shake, pour and sip!

Apple Cider, Bourbon and Amaretto Cocktails with Brûléed Oranges |

Given the relative ease of the drink portion of this cocktail, I thought it would be a fun opportunity to make up some brûléed orange slices for garnish, an idea that I saw in the New York Times cooking section a while back and have been wanting to re-create since then. They really only take an extra 5 minutes of work to prepare. And I think they add a fabulous touch to this cocktail, both with respect to taste and presentation.

Pro tip: look for oranges that are just slightly smaller in diameter than your glasses for maximum visual impact.

So what are some of your favorite Fall sippers (alcoholic or non-alcoholic)? And any other local apple orchards that I need to visit this season? Tell me!



Apple Cider, Bourbon and Amaretto Cocktails with Brûléed Oranges

Apple Cider, Bourbon and Amaretto Cocktails with Brûléed Oranges


  • For the Oranges
  • 1 small orange, thinly sliced
  • 1-2 tsp. sugar

  • For the Cinnamon-Sugar Rim
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp. salt

  • For the Cocktails
  • Apple Cider
  • Orange Juice
  • Bourbon
  • Amaretto
  • Angostura bitters
  • Ice


  1. To make the brûléed oranges, sprinkle one side of the orange slices with sugar. Heat a dry skillet over medium-high heat. Once the skillet is hot, add the orange slices sugar-side down and cook until lightly caramelized, about 1-2 minutes. Remove the orange slices from the skillet and place them on a plate with the brûléed-side facing up. Set aside.
  2. Stir together all of the ingredients for the cinnamon-sugar rim and place the mixture on a small plate. Wet the rim of your glasses with some of the apple cider, then invert the glasses over the cinnamon-sugar mixture, pressing down to coat. Add a few ice cubes to the glasses and set aside.
  3. To make one cocktail, add 3/4 cups apple cider, 1/4 cup orange juice, 1 1/2 ounces (= 1 shot) bourbon, 3/4 ounces ( = 1/2 shot) amaretto and 2-3 dashes of bitters to a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake well. Strain into one of your prepared glasses. Float a brûléed orange slice on top. Enjoy immediately.


  • Yum, these look and sound amazing, Liz!


    • Thanks, Tori!

  • So love this cocktail Liz! Those orange slices are to die for! And that cinnamon sugar rim? Perfect! I’ll be heading to get my apple cider, so this can be concocted for the weekend!


    • I like this plan, Mary Ann! Cheers!

  • Calorie free doughnuts and cocktails?! I’m in sister! I need to plan my trip to an apple orchard this fall, I can’t go without it! Also, cocktails > potato salad ALL DAY ERR DAY. xo


    • Who knew calorie free donuts could be so delicious! 🙂

  • Already I feel like this week needs to start with a cocktail and you just made my dreams come true! 😉 Looking forward to making this. Those oranges are the prettiest finishing touch!


    • Thanks, Tessa. Glad I can help improve your Monday!

  • These are so pretty Liz — love those oranges! I don’t dapple outside of red wine and the occasional beer or moscow mule, but the flavors here are making me want to branch out very soon!


    • You totally need to practice branching out. I’m happy to help with that! 🙂

  • apple picking is my favorite fall activity, especially when it’s concluded with a mug of hot (preferably spiked) cider and a warm doughnut! these bruleed oranges are genius!


    • Thanks, Cathy! Let me know if you try out the recipe!

  • Yummmm those orange slices are so pretty and fun! Now you’re making me want apple cider donuts … I have to admit, I’m pretty excited for fall. 🙂


    • I could live on apple cider donuts alone!

  • I just love these photos… so gorgeous!! Looks yummy too of course 🙂


    • Thanks, Natasha! Let me know if you try out the cocktail!

  • love the bruleed oranges! this cocktail is definitely happening this fall.


    • Hooray!

  • Come on, Liz – I know you buy your liquors by the gallon… 😉 OMGeee that bruleed orange by NYT? I made it last Spring and LOVED it! It’s sugary sweetness slowly drips into the drink. Absolutely genius! I love how you’ve applied it here with the fresh apple cider. OMG. Pair this with calorie free doughnuts and I’m in heaven! Your apple pics sound like so much fun… we’re picking this weekend….it’ll be the mother load. The apples are starting to fall from the trees so it’s time to stock up. Thank you for your endless inspiration Liz. I love the work that you do! xo


    • Aww…thanks, Traci. I wish all donuts and cocktails could be calorie free! Lol!

  • This looks and sounds so delicious with all those fall flavors. I can’t wait to try ti! Bottom’s UP!


    • Cheers, Karen!

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