We have been having one of the most beautiful falls recently, with perfect warm days and cool evenings. These kind of fall days make for colorful trees and beautiful days for sitting outside enjoying the scenery. Highlighting that beautiful scenery are a couple of big beautiful maple trees that turn brilliant blazing orange and reds as the sap starts to run. In some areas, this sap is as good as liquid gold, harvested and turned into sweet maple syrup, which just happens to be a great fall cocktail ingredient. With the warm fall afternoons making us want to spend a lot of afternoons out enjoying the colors, we figured a nice cool sipping drink would be appropriate, so we came up with the Maple and Cider Kentucky Mule.
We love making different variations of the venerable Moscow Mule like our Carmel Apple Moscow Mule or our Campfire Mule, but one of our favorites is a Kentucky Mule, which swaps out the vodka of the Moscow Mule for bourbon. The big bold boozy burst from bourbon gives the Kentucky Mule a nice strong base to start building a great cocktail. Bourbon might be the quintessential fall spirit, full of big bold caramel and vanilla flavors and lots of warm baking spices, making it perfect for fall cocktails.
To start adding in layers of fall flavor, we started out with a great honeycrisp apple cider, tangy and sweet and definitely fall flavored. The apple cider pairs up really well with bourbon, the crisp tartness a nice contrast to the sweet caramel of the bourbon. A splash of fresh lime juice stays true to the original mule recipe while also adding a citrus brightness that helps liven up the apple cider.
With the apple cider and lime juice being fairly tart, we needed to add in sweetness to help bring the drink into balance. With maple syrup providing not only sweetness, but also a whole bunch of flavor, we were to add in another layer of fall flavor. The maple syrup also adds in a rich thickness that makes the Maple and Cider Kentucky Mule a smooth sipper.
To finish the cocktail, we added ginger beer, which adds a refreshing spicy bite and an effervescent edge. The ginger notes of the ginger beer pulls out the tartness of the apple and the baking spices of the bourbon. With lots of fun fall flavors the Maple and Cider Kentucky Mule will be perfect for nice warm fall afternoons under the colorful maples! Cheers!
- 2 oz Kentucky Bourbon
- .75 oz maple syrup
- 2.5 oz Apple Cider
- .5 oz lime juice
- 3 oz ginger beer
- Combine all ingredients over crushed ice. Stir to combine.
- Garnish with crystallized ginger and an apple slice if desired. Cheers!