Maple Apple Old Fashioned: My New Go-To Fall Cocktail

The perfect cocktail for fall, this Maple Apple Old Fashioned is what you’ll want to be drinking all season long. Bourbon, maple syrup and classic apple cider come together in this tasty cocktail that’s ideal enjoyed under warm blankets in front of a crackling fireplace.

This Maple Apple OId Fashioned is a fun fall twist on the classic whiskey cocktail.

If ever there were a way for me to make my entrance back onto the fall cocktail scene, this Maple Apple Old Fashioned would be it.

I’m the first to admit, I’ve been out of the mixology game for quite some time. Sure, I’ve whipped up a simple mixed drink here and there since the little one made her debut last October, but to be honest I rarely sip cocktails these days – my bod just can’t handle the hangovers as well as it used to!

So when I DO drink a cocktail, I want it to be absolutely delicious. And that’s what this Maple Apple Old Fashioned is. Seriously, I wasn’t sure how it would turn out since I’ve been out of practice for so long, but it has now joined the ranks as one of my favorite cocktail creations ever (along with the French 75 and the Twisted Whiskey Kind of Afternoon, of course) and, now that the babe is officially weaned, you can bet I’ll be sipping on these a lot more often over the next few months.

Before I get into the recipe, I have to tell you my reason for being inspired to create a cocktail that involves everyone’s favorite “accoutrement” for buttermilk pancakes and Belgian waffles: maple syrup! You see, I’ve been in Vermont all week for a fun little blogger conference called Blog Brȗlée. I’ve absolutely loved it because it is a small group of health-minded bloggers/registered dietitians with tailored content and wonderful sponsors in a beautiful location. I mean, what more could you ask for?

The Maple Apple Old Fashioned adds your favorite fall flavors to the classic cocktail.

There was a ton of information, bonding and exploring in two short days and now I’ve been exploring a bit on my own until I fly out later this afternoon. It’s the longest I’ve ever been away from sweet Raia (and I miss her soooooo much) but the time on my own has been relaxing and inspiring and has left me reinvigorated for both the business and personal side of my life as we jump into this fall season.

And jump into fall we shall! I mean, I sure got into the mood for fall with my trip to Vermont (gah—that foliage though!) But I have to admit that without a trip like that you almost wouldn’t notice that the seasons have changed in our West Coast seaside town of Santa Barbara. I, for one, am determined to break out all the blankets, pillows and candles as soon as I get home (helloooo hygge) even if it’s still 75 degrees out during the day and EVEN if it means I have to make a Maple Apple Old Fashioned to get me in the mood.

If you like Old Fashioneds, this Maple Apple Old Fashioned will be your go-to fall cocktail this season!

Speaking of Maple Apple Old Fashioned’s, I hope you like bourbon, because otherwise you might want to stop reading right here. Yes, bourbon-lovers, this cocktail is for you. If you’re familiar with the Old Fashioned, then you know that there is not much else other than booze in this classic drink. Now, you may wonder why, for such a booze-infused cocktail, I tried to pack both maple and apple in as accompanying flavors, but trust me on this. A little goes a long way to make this the most happening fall cocktail around.

A typical Old Fashioned is made by first muddling straight sugar with bitters, then adding whiskey/bourbon and a slice of orange rind. If you take a look at this Maple Apple Old Fashioned recipe, you’ll see that we basically have all of the similar components, with a few fall-like twists.

We still use the bitters (I mean, how could we not?) but we sub in maple syrup in exchange for the sugar. And rather than infusing the bourbon with orange rind, we add just the slightest bit of apple cider to really give it that “fall” feel.

Maple syrup and spiced apple cider are the perfect additions to this Old Fashioned Cocktail.

It really is a simple recipe, and for the amount of fall flavor it packs, I hope you give it a try. I, for one, am looking forward to mixing up some of these as soon as I get home. I’m sure the hubby will appreciate it after a week of solo parenting!

Maple Apple Old Fashioned
Prep Time
5 mins

The perfect cocktail for fall, this Maple Apple Old Fashioned is what you’ll want to be drinking all season long. Bourbon, maple syrup and classic apple cider come together in this tasty cocktail that’s ideal enjoyed under warm blankets in front of a crackling fireplace. 

Course: Drinks
Keyword: apple, bourbon, cocktails, drinks, fall, maple syrup
Servings: 1 cocktail
Calories: 215 kcal
Author: CaliGirl Cooking
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
  • 2 ounces bourbon
  • 1 ounce apple cider, plus a little more for rimming the glass
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup
  • 2-4 dashes angostura bitters
  • Apple wheels for garnish
  1. In a small bowl, mix together the ground cinnamon and sugar. Pour onto a small saucer/dessert plate. Pour some apple cider on a second saucer/dessert plate. (Tip: This cinnamon-sugar combo is PLENTY to rim two to three glasses if you want to up the cocktail recipe.)

  2. Take a rocks glass and dip it first into the apple cider plate and then into the cinnamon-sugar plate. Use a spoon or small ladle to fill the glass with ice and set aside.

  3. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice and add the bourbon, apple cider, syrup and bitters. Shake vigorously for 10 seconds or so.

  4. Strain contents of shaker into the prepared glass and garnish with an apple wheel. Enjoy!

Watermelon Old-Fashioned

It’s Friday and we’re feelin’ fine…

Watermelon Old-Fashioned | CaliGirl Cooking

Okay, okay, maybe not feeling FANTASTIC, but we’re doing our best to make the most of this crazy situation that has come our way (see my last blog post) and there’s nothing like a summery twist on one of the hubby and my favorite cocktails to turn our frowns upside down. Enter this Watermelon Old-Fashioned!

You know I’m no stranger to combining watermelon and bourbon in a cocktail (see this Watermelon Balsamic Basil Julep I made a couple of months back), and now that summer is quickly coming to a close I felt like I needed to get all of my other watermelon cocktail ideas out there before no one wants to talk about this juicy, ripe fruit anymore and everyone just wants to talk about pumpkin, sweet potato and turkey until it’s then time to talk about peppermint, eggnog, and the like. You feel me?

But, seriously though, let’s talk about looking for the silver lining in things. That’s all we’ve been doing the past few days. Of course there are so many things to be thankful for: we’re thankful that I actually don’t have to worry about heading to a 9-5 office job every day of the week anymore (so I can play nurse to my man), we’re thankful that this injury didn’t happen before our wedding, we’re thankful that we made it through a hurricane together, and most of all we’re thankful that we have each other…But it’s hard work trying to remind ourselves of that sometimes when we’re trekking from one doctor appointment to another or I’m trying to unpack BOTH of our suitcases for the trip or trying to get something off of the very top shelf in our kitchen. It’s times like these that I’m so ready for a refreshing yet comforting cocktail at the end of the day and this Watermelon Old-Fashioned is really doing the trick.

Watermelon Old-Fashioned | CaliGirl Cooking

So let’s talk a little bit about this libation that’s brought me so much comfort and joy the past couple of days. I don’t really remember what my inspiration was for this cocktail, but it’s quite likely that it just popped into my head one day and I was lucky enough to write it down on my list of content ideas. (This is how the vast majority of my recipe ideas come about. I always need to have Evernote close at hand!)

In these dog days of summer, I find myself constantly craving fresh watermelon or watermelon juice. It’s a thing and I can’t ever get enough. Plus, because I am probably one of the only balanced living bloggers/whole foods proponents that does not own a juicer (gasp!), watermelon proves to be one of the few fruits that I can actually run through my immersion blender and get a significant, gulp-worthy glass from (thank you, high water content!)

So, I already knew that I loved fresh watermelon juice, I already knew that I loved the watermelon and bourbon combo, and I already knew that I loved Old-Fashioneds. IMHO, this Watermelon Old-Fashioned idea could not go wrong!

Watermelon Old-Fashioned | CaliGirl Cooking

And no, it did not. Guys, it turned out soooooo delicious. And I am so excited to share it with you. Are you intimidated by fancy cocktails? Do you feel like you need tons of fancy equipment to take advantage of this new mixology fad? Fear not! The only semi-“fancy” ingredient that this Watermelon Old-Fashioned entails is angostura bitters. And yes, you can find it on Amazon. Do you know how to boil sugar and water? Then you’ve got your simple syrup (or you could also buy that on Amazon.) See? No excuses!

This recipe only requires five ingredients and comes together in less than 10 minutes, which means the Watermelon Old-Fashioned should be making an appearance in your hand at approximately 5:10pm this lovely Friday evening, as soon as you walk in the door, kick off your shoes and turn on the Olympics. Sound good? I’ll be there with you in spirit! (Hehe, see what I did there?)

Watermelon Old-Fashioned | CaliGirl Cooking

Watermelon Old-Fashioned
Prep Time
10 mins
Total Time
10 mins
A summer take on the classic Old-Fashioned cocktail featuring fresh watermelon juice.
  • 1 ounce bourbon
  • ¼ ounce angostura bitters
  • 1 ½ ounces watermelon juice
  • ½ ounce simple syrup
  • ½ ounce fresh orange juice
  • 1 orange slice
  1. In a rocks glass filled ¾ of the way full with ice, combine bourbon, bitters, watermelon juice, simple syrup and orange juice. Stir to combine and then garnish with orange slice.


Watermelon Old-Fashioned |

Make mine a double!!

This post contains affiliate links. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Twisted Whiskey Kind of Afternoon – A Take on the Old-Fashioned

I can’t believe the moment is finally here.

Twisted Whiskey Kind of Afternoon - A Take on the Old-Fashioned | CaliGirl Cooking

I have had the idea of recreating this amazingly delicious cocktail since I started my weekly drink recipe series here on CaliGirl Cooking. And to tell you the truth, I’ve been a bit intimidated. I’ve dabbled a bit in the bourbon and whiskey worlds (as evidenced by this Blackberry Bourbon “Jammer”  and The Seelbach) but I’ve never come close to what I’m about to show you here.

You see, the “original” Whiskey Kind of Afternoon comes from one of my favorite bars in town, Seven Bar & Kitchen. This catchy, craft cocktail-making locals hangout had this as one of their featured drinks oh, say, about a year ago? But, being the hip, farm-to-table bar and restaurant that it is with an ever-changing seasonal menu, it disappeared a few months later. LUCKILY we have become fairly good acquaintances with the bartenders there (did I mention it’s one of our favorite spots?) and they know that, whenever we come in for a visit, we’ll undoubtedly be asking them to whip up a Whiskey Kind of Afternoon (or two, or four.) Nothing like being able to order a secret, off-menu item to make you feel a little VIP 😉

Twisted Whiskey Kind of Afternoon - A Take on the Old-Fashioned | CaliGirl Cooking

The reason I was intimidated was because Seven Bar has made its name in great part due to its cocktails. They are so creative and fresh, the ingredients are certainly not ones that the average Joe (or Jane) would have in their even well-stocked bar.  For example, honey syrup? Pear liqueur? I mean, my fiancé works for a liquor company and we don’t even have these things on hand.  But, you know what? Last weekend I tucked my head down and just went for it! I was determined to make this cocktail, or at least my own twisted version, using ingredients I had on hand and that you’ll likely have on hand too!

The Whiskey Kind of Afternoon is basically an elevated Old-Fashioned. (Let me tell you, once you make this, you will never want to go back to a regular Old-Fashioned ever again.) You have the classic whiskey and citrus juice, but we use grapefruit instead of orange and add a couple of other little embellishments to really knock this out of the park.

Twisted Whiskey Kind of Afternoon - A Take on the Old-Fashioned | CaliGirl Cooking

Okay, so here’s what we did. We start with the easy part –> Whiskey (I recommend Bulleit for this!) Then we use a combo of pure honey and simple syrup to get as close as we can to this “honey syrup” I mentioned above. We throw in some Aperol, which is part of the original recipe and isn’t that hard to get a hold of, and then we use elderflower liqueur (such as St. Germain) instead of the pear liqueur. We finish the drink with a touch of fresh grapefruit juice and a couple of dashes of Angostura bitters. Now that wasn’t too hard, was it?

I have to say, I was so excited when I tasted my Twisted Whiskey Kind of Afternoon. The flavors were NEARLY on point with the version from Seven Bar. I guess if you taste something enough you have a pretty darn good sense of what goes into it, right?

Twisted Whiskey Kind of Afternoon - A Take on the Old-Fashioned | CaliGirl Cooking

I’m so proud of myself for finally giving this a shot. The payoff was totally worth it and it ended up being so easy! What have you whipped up in the kitchen lately that you were intimidated to make at first? Was it easier or harder than you thought? I love hearing all of your stories…Together, I hope that we can conquer every single one of our kitchen hesitations and fears! XO

Twisted Whiskey Kind of Afternoon - A Take on the Old-Fashioned
Grapefruit, Aperol and so much more will make you never want to order a regular Old-Fashioned ever again.
  • 1 ½ ounces whiskey I recommend Bulleit
  • ½ teaspoon honey
  • ½ ounce simple syrup
  • ¾ ounce Aperol
  • ½ ounce Elderflower liqueur such as St. Germain
  • 1 ounce fresh grapefruit juice
  • 2-3 dashes Angostura bitters
  • Grapefruit peel or blood orange wheels if you don't have grapefruit peel like me!
  1. Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake vigorously for about 10 seconds. Pour into a rocks glass (including the ice from the shaker.) Garnish with grapefruit peel or blood orange wheels. Enjoy!


Twisted Whiskey Kind of Afternoon - A Take on the Old-Fashioned | CaliGirl Cooking

Sunshine in a glass 🙂