This spicy-sweet cocktail is the best way to unwind after a trip to the local cider mill. Featuring fresh, Northern Michigan apple cider, whiskey and a chile liqueur, this Spicy Whiskey Cider Collins is sure to warm you up after a fun-filled fall day.

There’s nothing quite like that first weekend of fall. The weather is still warm from the heat of summer. The leaves haven’t begun to turn in earnest yet, but there’s a whiff of autumn in the air. You pile everyone in the car and hit your favorite local cider mill. Sounds idyllic right? Flash forward a few hours. The kids have eaten one too many pumpkin donuts, there are sticky remnants of those caramel apples all over the back seat and they’ve already downed half of the gallon of cider that you brought home.
Don’t let them finish what’s left. Instead, mix the cider that remains with your favorite Northern Michigan whiskey and a slightly spicy chile liqueur known as Ancho Reyes. When they (finally) drift off to sleep, this one’s for you, mom and dad. You’ve earned it.
Sweet and spicy whiskey cider collins

Photo by Dave Weidner

Related Read: View our full list of ‘Last Call’ monthly cocktail recipes.

Spicy Whiskey Cider Collins Cocktail Recipe
Serves 1

  • 4 ounces fresh apple cider
  • 1 1⁄2 ounces whiskey
  • 1 ounce Ancho Reyes, a chile liqueur
  • 1⁄2 ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 ounces club soda
  • 2 dashes of lemon bitters (optional)
  • apple wheel
Add ice to a tall Collins glass. Measure cider, whiskey, Ancho Reyes and lemon juice into the glass and stir to combine. Top with soda and bitters. Garnish with an apple wheel. Just like the kids, serve it with a straw, giving it one last whiz in the glass.
Sweet and spicy whiskey cider collins

Photo by Dave Weidner

Related Read: Don’t Miss August’s Last Call: The Barnyard Pisco Sour.

Stacey Brugeman is a Leelanau County-based food and beverage writer and editor. Her work has appeared in Food & Wine, Saveur, Travel + Leisure, Eater and Denver’s 5280, where she served as Restaurant Critic. Follow her on Instagram @staceybrugeman.

Related Read: Visit our Northern Michigan Fall page to explore all things autumn Up North!

Photo(s) by Dave Weidner