Cocktails/ Fall/ Recipe

Autumnal Cinnamon Apple Whiskey Sour

Today, I raise my glass to you. And the upcoming holiday season. Because damn, I love Christmas.

Apple Whiskey Sour Recipe -

Admittedly, I’m a Ho Ho fanatic. And not just because I’m a ho.

I grew up in a household that celebrated Christmas rather fervorishly… Is that a word?

BC Apple Orchard - Apple Whiskey Sour Recipe -

Seriously. I kind of thought everyone’s families celebrated Christmas the way ours did. Bundling up in our Winter woolies to adventure to the middle of nowhere and chop down the perfect tree, only to discover it wouldn’t fit in the living room and when it finally was cut down to size, it set the house ablaze with fires, squirrels and crazy blabbering, chain-smoking relatives. Not to mention the time we blasted Uncle Louis sky high when the sewer exploded. Okay. I may or may not be bluffing here. And by may or may not, I definitely am. My memories of Christmas as a child weren’t quite as exciting – or hilarious – as the Griswald’s family Christmas, but they’re pretty darn good.

Apple Whiskey Sour Recipe -

We always had a real tree. Mom would be responsible for stringing the lights, Dad for the garland. Then us kids got to put on the balls (haha, balls) and tinsel and ornaments. The star was last. The outside of our house was always expertly strung with precision and patience so each and every bulb faced the right way. Of course, they were the old school multi-coloured lights everyone had in the 80’s, not the ugly LED environmental friendly ones everyone has now. And Christmas television specials like Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, Garfield’s Christmas and A Charlie Brown Christmas were on repeat – or at least rewound in the VCR and played and replayed at nauseam. Same goes for Christmas songs.

Apple Whiskey Sour Recipe -

Speaking of which, on Christmas eve we’d pile into the car and Dad would drive us around town to look at all the houses lit up, while Michael and I sang carols off key and Mom tried not to bang her head through the window. There were always chocolate advent calendars to count down the month, cookies left out for Santa Christmas eve (even once we were grown), and come Christmas morning, presents and stockings to be ogled, torn open and enjoyed.

BC Apple Orchard - Apple Whiskey Sour Recipe -

Yep. I have pretty fond memories of Christmas. It’s irreverably part of who I am – so no apologies here. I love Christmas and I’m damn proud of it. It’s where I’m from.

…OMG! Can you imagine if you could actually be FROM Christmas??? That would be amazing.

This year, though… Dad isn’t here. And I’m not sure how I feel about celebrating Christmas without him. I keep flip flopping between joyful holiday spirit and hatred of the world and all it’s red white and green. But man alive, he’d be awfully mad and kick our asses if we didn’t go at ‘er full swing. And as much as I want to be haunted by Dad, I hope he’ll do so on a more cheerful note than pissed.

Apple Whiskey Sour Recipe -

Side note: Very few new traditions or shows have made it into my holiday activities as an adult. The few exceptions: The little elves that put Baileys in my coffee Christmas morning, the movie Elf and Regina Phalange, my Elf on a Shelf. I seem to have a thing for elves. Hmmmmm… Things that make you go hmmmmmm….

So…Wow. I’m really delving into the Christmas stuff here, aren’t I? It isn’t even December! So let’s pass the time – and get more Christmas in us – with an apple whiskey sour. An apt holiday drink.

Apple Whiskey Sour Recipe -

Not that you can’t drink this cocktail during non-holiday times. It’s perfectly suited for any time in Fall, Winter or on a Monday morning when you just need that extra pep in your step…. Not that I’m condoning alcohol consumption to add pep to your step. I’m high on life, not drugs. Or booze…. Okay, maybe booze.

Warm cinnamon, tender apples and a good kick in the pants for alcohol makes this Cinnamon Apple Whiskey Sour my new best friend. If you come over within the next couple of months, you’ll probably get one of these. 10am or otherwise.

Apple Whiskey Sour Recipe -

Cinnamon Apple Whiskey Sour



Yield 2 drinks


  • 4 Oz. bourbon whiskey (Maker's Mark or Woodford Reserve should do ya)
  • 1 C dry, hard (with alcohol) apple cider
  • 2 Oz. simple syrup
  • 2 Dashes of Angostura bitters
  • Juice of 2 lemons
  • 1 Apple, cored and thinly sliced
  • 1/4 C cinnamon
  • 1/4 C sugar
  • 2 Small sprigs of fresh rosemary


  1. Place the cinnamon and sugar in a shallow bowl. Mix to combine. Set aside.
  2. Run a slice of apple halfway along the rim of two glasses.
  3. Pour the whiskey, simple syrup, bitters and lemon juice into a mason jar or bar shaker. Add a Handful of ice cubes, cover and shake for 10 seconds.
  4. Strain the ice and pour into prepared glasses. Top with cider.
  5. Run each slice of apple through the cinnamon/sugar mixture and drop as a garnish in each drink. Spear with the rosemary sprig.

Bottoms up.


If desired, you can mix in an egg white (powdered or fresh if your whites are from pastured, organically fed chickens) before you add the cider. A true sour has this element but I forwent it for lack of egg whites. It was still phenomenal.

Are you loving or hating on Christmas right now? Any great holiday memories? Horrible ones? What’s in your glass (or bowl) right this instant? What are you looking forward to on your holiday table? Indulge me πŸ˜‰

  • Jacqueline Gum (Jacquie)
    November 24, 2014 at 8:31 PM

    Okay…you’re gonna hate me for being a grinch. I didn’t have sad Christmases growing up…just the opposite. But it seems like I’ve had a lifetime of sad, mad, or angry holidays since then. So I like to skip the whole thing. Prefer being under my bed until December passes…because I hate the folks who feel like they have to covert me into a holiday lover at any cost. SO annoying. I let you folks celebrate; I don’t judge, don’t criticize so I’d only ask the same in return! I say Merry Christmas and never growl when it’s said to me. So could you move the eggnog out from under my nose please? And STOP asking me WHY I hate Christmas. I’m getting under the bed right after Thanksgiving!
    Jacqueline Gum (Jacquie) recently published…Thanksgiving…Where’s The Justice?My Profile

    • Kristy Gardner
      November 24, 2014 at 8:45 PM

      Oh Jacqueline!! I love the crap out of you! I adore your honesty and your candor and that’s why you’re so awesome.

      I totally get that. Not everyone can be a Christmas ho. I think it’s totally fair to love one holiday and not another. Or love life but not certain parts. You’re totally welcome – and entitled – to hide under your bed until December is over. Can I bring you some warm Winter soup or a bottle of gin? I promise, nothing Christmasy. I don’t want you to get lonely or hungry or thirsty.

      PS. I can’t believe i hadn’t done it before but I just added your blog to my Bloglovin so I won’t miss a thing. And also your newsletter πŸ˜‰ xo!

  • Becky
    November 25, 2014 at 8:45 AM

    I do love Christmas – the time of year where my people really do set out on their own and chop down a tree that always ends up being way too big for our house, but once we take out half the furniture and give up using the door from the living room to the kitchen, it fits. And then our house is flooded with friends escaping their families, who marvel at how beautiful our tree is. At some point in the days before Christmas I start to realize how much frigging work Christmas is when you’re the mom and every year, I tell myself I’m not going to start wrapping at 9 pm Christmas eve this year. Then realize there’s always next year.
    Which is why straight up bourbon in cider is my drink. I’ve got no time for fanciness.

    Although a dear friend dropped off a jar off his homemade apple bounce that will definitely find itself sipped this coming season.
    Becky recently published…A Cookbook History Lesson.My Profile

    • Kristy Gardner
      November 25, 2014 at 9:54 AM

      Oh Becky – it sounds like your home is so warm and welcoming. It’s the time of year that really does bring out the best in people, doesn’t it? And brings out the fleeing too – I can understand that πŸ˜‰

      I tell myself the same thing. But here’s a confession: I don’t like shopping for Christmas presents BEFORE the holiday jumble is a’rollin. It’s earlier and earlier every year but I got it in my head 14 years ago that that was in December and so now, I always wait till mid-December to buy things because I want the music and decorations, etc… Maybe we should make a pact to get ‘er done early next year. haha.

      PS. What the heck is Apple Bounce?????? I’m intrigued!

      PPS. Straight up bourbon in cider sounds like a good deal. I usually have just straight up bourbon but for some reason, cider has me in a festive spirit this year. Cheers!

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  • France morissette
    November 25, 2014 at 1:21 PM

    Judging by the number of mornings leading up onto Christmas when elves put baileys in my coffee, I suspect I have an entire village living in my house. The whiskey sour soufs…omg delish. I’ll take u up on that offer of a 10 cocktail in a couple of weeks! πŸ™‚

    • Kristy Gardner
      November 25, 2014 at 5:50 PM

      HAHAHAHAHAHA Can I come live with you???

      PS. Definitely. I’ll make us a pitcher full, girl.

  • Caralyn @ glutenfreehappytummy
    November 25, 2014 at 8:17 PM

    now this would make a HAPPY thanksgiving!
    Caralyn @ glutenfreehappytummy recently published…Harvest Stuffed Butternut Squash! GF, V, SCD & Paleo!My Profile

    • Kristy Gardner
      December 1, 2014 at 7:17 PM

      Happy to make it happy Caralyn! Or at least boozy πŸ˜‰

  • Anna (Hidden Ponies)
    November 27, 2014 at 11:26 AM

    I love everything about Christmas, and this post is so festive! Gorgeous cozy drinks, lady.
    Anna (Hidden Ponies) recently published…Butter Baked Goods: The Dunbar {Giveaway!}My Profile

  • Candice @ Everybody Loves Pretty
    November 28, 2014 at 9:50 AM

    There is nothing I love more than a good whiskey sour! You take beautiful pictures! This is definitely a recipe I will be testing out this weekend! πŸ™‚
    Candice @ Everybody Loves Pretty recently published…Beet, Lentil and Orange Quinoa SaladMy Profile

    • Kristy Gardner
      December 1, 2014 at 7:18 PM

      Aw thanks Candice!! I appreciate that so much πŸ™‚ I hope the cocktail worked out well for you this weekend. Lemme know – cheers my friend!

  • Aimee @ Simple Bites
    November 28, 2014 at 10:25 AM

    Gorgeous photos and sentiment! I’m ready for this drink already. Is is 5-o-clock yet?

    Aimee @ Simple Bites recently published…My best suggestion ever for Thanksgiving leftoversMy Profile

    • Kristy Gardner
      December 1, 2014 at 7:21 PM

      It certainly is Aimee. Actually, 2 hours past. I say we whip up a pitcher of these bad boys. And then pin things.

      ….This could get out of hand.

  • Meghan@CleanEatsFastFeets
    November 28, 2014 at 2:20 PM

    Since I’m officially reading this post, post Thanksgiving (holy crap that’s a lot of posts in one sentence), I am all for Christmas. I will string the outdoor lights this weekend, a la Clark Griswald style (meaning lots of swearing, not necessarily thousands of lights), and next weekend we’ll get the tree and then proceed to drink and decorate (it’s a thing). Yep, I’m feeling ya on the Christmas vibe starting now. I also want to come over and have you make me a cocktail, especially at 10 a.m.

    • Kristy Gardner
      December 1, 2014 at 7:22 PM

      I love posts! Especially when they come stuffed with presents and goodies and booze and Meghans! …that would be weird.

      PS. I would TOTALLY make you a cocktail at 10am. And then we’d curse the day away! Be safe decorating – don’t fall off ladders.

  • jess meddows
    November 28, 2014 at 7:38 PM

    Argh, I love these drinks, Kristy! They look so damn delicious! Now, to convince someone to make them for me at Christmas time… πŸ˜‰

    (On a more serious note, I know this Christmas might be a bit harder for you guys this year without your Dad. Shawn’s first one without his Mum felt really weird, so we’re thinking of you! xxx)
    jess meddows recently published…One King West Hotel TorontoMy Profile

    • Kristy Gardner
      December 1, 2014 at 7:23 PM

      All ya gotta do is ask, Jess πŸ˜‰

      PS. Thank you so much. I keep flip flopping between happy excited and destroyed angry sad. I appreciate the words and thoughts. Tell Shawn and you that I appreciate you both. xoxo – thank you.

  • Jayme
    November 29, 2014 at 7:06 PM

    Kristy. This recipe is perfection. And I think, after the shopping, family tension, decorating, and wrapping, that this recipe can easily serve one. HA! You think I’m joking! I l-o-v-e Christmas, but I am withholding my love for now. I feel like I missed out on the build-up to the holiday, and now, all of a sudden, it is here. This year, I am getting a living Christmas tree to plant in our yard and am making all of my gifts. It’s partly because cash is tight this year, but it is also because handmade gifts are heartfelt and memorable. I am still trying to mail your package – the contents are kind of, well, “sensitive.” I am trying to make bourbon snail mail happen, and I am jumping through some hoops. It might turn into a Christmas present for you! What am I sipping on right now? I am going back downstairs to have a glass of AP Vin Pinot Noir – – perfect for this balmy night I’m experiencing down here in Florida!! XO
    Jayme recently published…cucumber + melon + white grape sangriaMy Profile

    • Kristy Gardner
      December 1, 2014 at 7:25 PM

      hahahahaha I do not think you’re joking Jayme. In fact, I think it SHOULD serve one after all that! I just broke it into two so everyone didn’t think I was a lush. Oops, too late.

      PS. I totally agree re handmade gifts. They’re the best. Next to wine. Or bourbon. πŸ˜‰ You are amazing.

  • Dan
    December 5, 2014 at 5:33 PM

    I really liked reading about your Christmas memories.. we’re big Christmas fans in our house too! And an awesome version of a whiskey sour – good stuff! I’ll use my Woodford…:)
    Dan recently published…Champagne MargaritasMy Profile

    • Kristy Gardner
      December 14, 2014 at 11:48 AM

      Aw thanks Dan! Woodford is my go-to for sure. It used to be Maker’s Mark but Woodford has a smoother flavour and more interesting dynamics so I use that now. Have you tried Four Roses??? Divine.

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