Spiced Sparkling Cider Cocktail | How to Be Awesome on $20 a Day

Spiced Sparkling Cider Cocktail

Alcoholic Drinks

This Spiced Sparkling Cider Cocktail is both sweet and sophisticated. It’s perfect for when you want something a little bit fancy but not straight up boozy. You’re gonna want to drink this the entire holiday season.

Spiced Sparkling Cider Cocktail | How to Be Awesome on $20 a Day

As I write this, we are on the eve of a general election here in the UK, and it’s really messing with my holiday spirit. Just when your days start feeling merry and bright, somebody does or says something ridiculous on the news, and you wonder if we’ll even survive to next year. The world feels totally out of control, and I don’t know if we’ll actually be okay.

Christmas and Yule and so many other winter solstice traditions all have themes of hope and renewal. I feel like we really need to tap into that right now. We’ve been wading through a dark time. It’s a natural and necessary cycle of death, but late December signifies the return of the light. It comes slowly, but every day from December 21st will start to be just a little bit longer than the day before. And then all of a sudden we’ll start to see crocuses and remember what color is. Life always come back. Let’s hold onto that feeling.

Or maybe we just need to chill out and drink cocktails until we forget for a minute that the world is falling apart around us. I don’t know.

Spiced Sparkling Cider Cocktail | How to Be Awesome on $20 a Day

If you are going to make yourself a cocktail, make this Spiced Sparkling Cider Cocktail. It’s absolutely delicious, guys. It’s sugar and spice and Christmas cheer and bubbles and fun. I’m into it.

A little vodka and a little non-alcoholic sparkling apple cider get mixed together with a homemade spiced simple syrup made with orange juice, sugar, and a mix of winter spices. We use ground spices because this is real life, and that’s what you probably have in your kitchen. I strained my syrup through a coffee filter to try to get rid of some of the bigger bits, but you’ll still have some ground spices in your syrup. Don’t sweat it. Just make sure you give everyone something to stir their drink with. A cinnamon stick is super cute. Go to an Asian market to get cheap whole spices. Save your money for gifts.

Spiced Sparkling Cider Cocktail | How to Be Awesome on $20 a Day

I don’t know what’s going to happen with Brexit or impeachment or any of that. I do know that, barring some type of comic book-level catastrophe, the Earth will continue to journey around the sun, and the light will slowly but surely return to the Northern Hemisphere. In the meantime, I’ll be over here drinking a cocktail. You should join me. It’ll be awesome.

Spiced Sparkling Cider Cocktail


1 cocktail

Prep time

10 minutes

Cooking time

10 minutes


  • For the Spiced Syrup
  • 1/2 cup sugar

  • 1/2 cup orange juice

  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground clove

  • For the cocktail
  • 1 shot chilled vodka

  • 1 shot spiced syrup

  • 4 shots chilled sparkling apple cider

  • Sugar for the rim, optional

  • Cinnamon stick for stirring, optional


  • For the Spiced Syrup
  • In a small saucepan over medium low heat, add the sugar, orange juice, and spices. Stir gently to combine.
  • Cook this for about ten minutes at a simmer to dissolve the sugar and let it thicken slightly. Strain the syrup through a fine mesh sieve or a coffee filter. Store in an air tight container in the fridge.
  • For the cocktail
  • Pour a bit of the syrup onto a small plate, then pour some sugar onto another small plate. Dip the top of your martini glass into the syrup then into the sugar. I sort of press the sugar out to the edge of the plate to help coat it better, wedging the sugar between the rim of the glass and the edge of the plate to gently press it on.
  • In a cocktail mixer or a measuring cup with a spout, stir together vodka, syrup, and sparkling cider. This one has to be stirred, not shaken. The bubbles from the sparkling cider will get out of control if you shake it.
  • Pour your cocktail into your rimmed martini glass, and a cinnamon stirring stick, and enjoy.

Don’t forget to tag me on Instagram if you make this cocktail. I can’t wait to see .

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