This fall is especially warm, right? Or are we just making excuses to drink this spiked apple cider slushie? Either way, this frozen cocktail is a seasonal stunner. You make a boozy granita using a mixture of bourbon, apple cider, and a super easy spiced brown-sugar syrup. Then you freeze and scrape, freeze and scrape until you reach, er, “slushie” texture (you know what we mean). It’s pretty garnished with a slice of apple but cinnamon sticks would add another fragrant dimension. Cheers to the season!
3 cups (24 oz) apple cider or juice
1½ cups (12 oz) bourbon
¾ cup brown sugar-cinnamon simple syrup* (recipe below)
¼ cup (2 oz) fresh lemon juice
5 cups (40 oz) dry hard cider, to finish
Apple slices, for garnish
How to Make It
Combine the apple cider, bourbon, simple syrup, and lemon juice in a 9-inch by 13-inch pan (preferably metal or glass). Freeze mixture, uncovered, for 4 hours. Use the tines of a fork to stir the mixture, scraping up and dispersing any icy bits. Return the pan to the freezer and continue to freeze, stirring every few hours, until the mixture is completely frozen and similar in texture to shaved ice. Cover pan in plastic wrap and keep frozen until ready to serve.
To serve, break up any larger pieces of ice that have formed and spoon the mixture into lowball or punch glasses. Top with an equal amount of dry cider and garnish with apple slices.
To make the brown sugar-cinnamon simple syrup:
Combine ¾ cup light brown sugar, ¾ cup water, and 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon in a medium saucepan. Bring to a simmer and stir to dissolve sugar. Remove pan from heat and cool completely. Refrigerate syrup in a covered container for up to 2 weeks. Makes ¾ cup.
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