Apple Cider, Bourbon and Amaretto Cocktails with Brûléed Oranges |

Apple Cider, Bourbon and Amaretto Cocktails with Brûléed Oranges

This post was originally published here September 19, 2016. I’ve since updated the text and photographs. Cheers!

These Apple Cider, Bourbon and Amaretto Cocktails with Brûléed Oranges are my ideal Thanksgiving libation. They highlight some of my favorite Fall flavors, like apple, orange and cinnamon. AND they are finished with an absolutely show stopping garnish!

Oh and they are dead simple to make, too!

One of the many perks of living in New England is easy access to fresh-pressed apple cider from our local farmers. This time of year, I almost always have a bottle (or two!) in my refrigerator. And I love using it in all different types of recipes, from breakfasts to baked goods to beverages. Apple cider makes everything feel so cozy! Especially at the Holidays!

Cider Hill Farm in Amesbury, MA |

So of course, I couldn’t resist making it the main ingredient in these Apple Cider, Bourbon and Amaretto Cocktails with Brûléed Oranges. And since it is the main ingredient here, I highly suggest seeking out a good quality bottle. Shelf-stable apple juice isn’t really a worthy substitute for this recipe (sorry!). But look for fresh-pressed apple cider in or near the produce section of your grocery store. I bet you’ll find it, even if you live outside of New England!

So what else is in these cocktails? Orange juice for acidity and balance. And two of my favorite seasonal spirits, bourbon and amaretto, for all the best warm and fuzzy feelings!

Apple Cider, Bourbon and Amaretto Cocktails with Brûléed Oranges |

But I think it’s the brûléed orange slices that really steal the show here. They add an elegant and festive touch to these cocktails. And since they only take a couple minutes to prepare, I really don’t think you should skip out on them. It’s a rather meager time investment for a large return in overall appearance. And if there was ever a time to get a little bit fancy with your cocktail garnishes, I’d say Thanksgiving and Christmas would be it!

Apple Cider, Bourbon and Amaretto Cocktails with Brûléed Oranges |

I also love the cinnamon-sugar rim with this cocktail. Not only does it help to enhance the flavor of the cocktail ingredients. But the whiff of ground cinnamon that hits your nose each time you go in for a sip of your cocktail is downright intoxicating. See what I did there?



Apple Cider, Bourbon and Amaretto Cocktails with Brûléed Oranges

Apple Cider, Bourbon and Amaretto Cocktails with Brûléed Oranges

At a Glance:
Yield: Serves 2
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 2 minutes
Total Time: 7 minutes


For the Oranges:

  • 2 orange slices
  • About 1 tsp. granulated sugar

For the Cinnamon-Sugar Rim:

  • 1/2 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • Pinch of salt

For the Cocktails:

  • 1 1/2 cups fresh apple cider
  • 1/2 cup fresh orange juice
  • 3 ounces bourbon (I used Maker’s Mark)
  • 1 1/2 ounces amaretto (I used Disaronno)
  • 4-5 dashes Angostura bitters


  1. Heat a small skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle one side of the orange slices with sugar. Then place the orange slices sugared-side down into the hot skillet. Cook undisturbed until lightly caramelized, about 1-2 minutes. Remove the orange slices from the skillet and place them sugared-side up on a clean plate. Set aside.
  2. Combine the ingredients for the cinnamon-sugar rim on a small plate. Moisten the rim of your glasses with a little apple cider. Then invert the glasses into the cinnamon-sugar mixture, pressing down gently so the mixture adheres to the rims. Add ice to the glasses and set aside.
  3. Add all the ingredients for the cocktails to a shaker with ice. Shake well. Then strain evenly between your two prepared glasses. Add a brûléed orange slice to each glass. Garnish additionally with a cinnamon stick and sprig of fresh rosemary, if desired.

31 comments on “Apple Cider, Bourbon and Amaretto Cocktails with Brûléed Oranges”

  1. Yum, these look and sound amazing, Liz!

  2. 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!

  3. 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

  4. 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!

  5. 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!

  6. 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!

  7. 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. 🙂

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

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

  10. 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

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

  12. thank you, can finally use some of that amaretto stuck in the back of my liquor cabinet! And brûléed oranges, oh my what a wonderful cocktail to serve!

    • Ha! I hear that! I love amaretto, but don’t use it that much and the bottle seems so big! Lol. I hope you love the cocktails!

  13. Thank you for this! Definitely trying it this weekend. Can I make and store the bruleed oranges in the fridge in advance?

  14. I made these last night and luckily before I mixed everything, I realize there are so major typos in the recipe proportions. These are excellent, but there is no way it should be 1 1/2 CUPS cider, should read 1 1/2 OUNCES. The orange juice should read 2 OUNCES. Made with those proportions and slightly reducing the Amaretto due to personal preference these were very good. Do not make them with the listed measurements!

    • Nope the proportions are correct as written, Karen. But glad you were able to make them your own and you enjoyed them.

    • Agreed! I unfortunately made it with the listed ingredients even though I know better
      It was way too watered down, which I guess some people who don’t love a good cocktail enjoy, but I definitely will be adjusting it accordingly next time I make! Overall the mix is good, but your adjustments would make it much better. Thank you!

  15. website is great for foodie and recipe ideas are so creative

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