Apple Pie Bourbon Cocktail and I Miss You


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I’ve been hiding away at my diningroom table writing my second cookbook. I’m excited to finally get that book in your hands but sad to be away so long. Hi, I miss you.

I decided to do something about that “missing you” feeling. I made a big-batch cocktail and I’m sharing it with you right now. It’s a recipe from Vivian Howard, the chef at Chef & the Farmer in Kinston, North Carolina, and star of the PBS documentary-style television show. I’ve adapted it slightly to use a sugar that’s a bit more wholesome. Maple sugar is still sugar, but it comes from trees up here and spikes your blood sugar far less than refined sugar. In fact, I’m using it in most of my recipes in my next cookbook.

Just a quick tidbit on my next cookbook: I deliver the manuscript in early 2018, which means you’ll get to hold it in your sweet hands sometime in early 2019. I know, that’s years away. But don’t be sad. I’ll share glimpses of my new way to food, revamped pantry, and different style of cooking throughout 2018. You know, once we get through all the holiday-overwhelm.

This big batch cocktail won’t overwhelm you though. I keep jars in the back of the fridge, where it’s the coldest, and ladle it into ice-filled glasses when company drops by right now, last night, this weekend, anytime. It’s served chilled but quite a warm welcome.

Let me just say it one more time, I miss you. Let’s talk a whole lot more in the new year, okay? I promise.


Apple Pie Bourbon Cocktail

This recipe is adapted slightly from a recipe by Vivian Howard, the chef at Chef & the Farmer in Kinston, North Carolina, who calls it Apple Pie Moonshine, as people used to hide their moonshine in apple cider jugs.

Since I didn’t use moonshine, I call this an Apple Pie Bourbon Cocktail. Its base is wholesome apple cider, infused for hours with fruit, spices, and a touch of sugar. I use maple sugar but you can certainly use light brown sugar. Then, you stir in bourbon and apples.

Pour a bit of the final mix over ice. It feels healthful and indulgent in one sip, especially when sipped in front of a fire or even just some flames glowing from the television. You could also opt to top it with a bit of bubbly.

Makes: 10 cups

Cook Time: 20 Minutes

Total Time: 10 Hours 20 Minutes


  • 4 lemons, halved
  • 2 oranges, halved
  • 3 2-inch pieces ginger, peeled and sliced
  • 3 star anise pods
  • 3 3-inch cinnamon sticks
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 8 cups apple cider
  • 1/2 cup (packed) maple sugar
  • 2 cups bourbon
  • 2 tart apples, quartered


  1. Add the lemons, oranges, ginger, spices, cider, and sugar to a large Dutch oven or other heavy pot. Bring to a boil and cook, stirring every so often, to help the sugar dissolve. Let cool 5 minutes.
  2. Add the bourbon and apples. Let cook completely and sit at room temperature for 10 hours.
  3. Remove and discard the lemons and oranges. Pour the cocktail into wide-mouth jars, cover, and chill until cold.
  4. To serve, pour into ice-filled glasses.
Photos by Maggie Battista

Eat Boutique is an award-winning shop and story-driven recipe site created by Maggie Battista. After hosting pop-up markets for 25,000+ guests, Maggie is now focused on opening her first permanent Eat Boutique​–​a food​-​retail concept space ​with a new way to the very best food. Her second cookbook, A New Way to Food: Recipes That Revamped My Pantry & Made Me Love Me, At Last, will be published by Roost Books/Penguin Random House in 2019. Her first cookbook, Food Gift Love, features more than 100 food gift recipes to make, wrap, and share and is available wherever you find favorite cookbooks.

Follow Eat Boutique’s founder Maggie here: Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest.

Follow Eat Boutique here: Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, and Pinterest.