Shakes are always a great choice to satisfy your sweet tooth cravings. This season-appropriate spiked apple cider floats complete with vanilla ice cream, apple cider, and cinnamon syrup is unbelievably delightful!
Whether you’re enjoying the chilly fall breeze or cooling off from the summer heat, the tantalizing flavor of this ice cream shake is just as good as it looks. This float is perfect for birthdays, movie nights, or bbq.
If you love apples, you’ll love the Apple Pear Slaw recipe with caramel cider vinaigrette I shared not too long ago. This cocktail is a great way to keep experimenting with sparkling apple cider.
For some reason, I feel as though this spiked apple cider floats recipe is reminiscent of the late 20th century for some people since ice cream added to soda was quite popular. Luckily, it is still possible to bring back the 80s and 90s – with a more modern interpretation of course.
Whoever discovered that apple cider goes incredibly well with ice cream needs an award. The apple cider flavor balances out the sweetness of the ice cream. Did someone say booze? Yes, I thought so.
What I like about cocktails is that any alcohol that is too strong to drink neat can be utilized in a rich mixture. For instance, neat bourbon whiskey can create a piercing sensation down your throat. Ironically, it makes some of the most fantastic cocktails. It cuts back the sweetness of the other ingredients, and you hardly ever taste the strong alcohol.
As you can expect, a cocktail without syrup is like Jay-Z without Beyonce. It gives a certain viscosity to your cocktail and dominates the flavor. It is really an open-ended road when it comes to the type of syrup you want to add to your spiked apple cider floats. But for this apple cider floats recipe, cinnamon syrup is the way to go. The cinnamon syrup in this cocktail adds a rich flavor to the float.
As for the ice cream, vanilla is an all-time classic. Perhaps it is just me, but doesn’t it feel like using ice cream other than vanilla would overcomplicate the taste? Regardless, the choice is yours. For this recipe, vanilla was the obvious choice.
Enough with the chit chat! This spiked apple cider float is a delicious cocktail that only involves two simple steps. You will first prepare the cinnamon syrup with sugar, ground cinnamon, cinnamon stick, and water. Then using a cocktail shaker, mix the apple cider, applejack, bourbon, and cinnamon syrup together. Top off your choice of ice cream with this mixed concoction and you’re done!
- FOR THE CINNAMON SIMPLE SYRUP
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 cinnamon stick
- FOR THE SPIKED APPLE CIDER FLOATS
- 2 cups apple cider, chilled
- 1/4 cup cinnamon simple syrup
- 1/4 cup applejack or apple schnapps
- 2 tablespoons bourbon
- 5-6 scoops vanilla ice cream
FOR THE CINNAMON SIMPLE SYRUP
- Combine the water, granulated sugar, ground cinnamon, and cinnamon stick in a small saucepan.
- Place over medium-high heat, and allow to cook until the sugar is dissolved, stirring frequently. This should take about 2-3 minutes.
- As soon as the sugar is dissolved, turn off the heat and allow the syrup to cool to room temperature.
- When the simple syrup is cool, strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a clean container, cover, and store in the fridge until ready to use.
FOR THE SPIKED APPLE CIDER FLOATS
- Place two mugs in the freezer about an hour before you'd like to serve the floats.
- Place 2-3 scoops of vanilla ice cream in each mug, depending on how much ice cream you like.
- In a small pitcher or cocktail shaker, combine the apple cider, cinnamon simple syrup, applejack, and bourbon. Shake to combine.
- Pour the apple cider over top of ice cream in the mugs.
- Optional: Garnish with a cinnamon stick. And serve with a straw and a spoon.
* This recipe was originally published on 10/2011 by Jaclyn. Notes and photos updated on 06/2020.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 2 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 1379Total Fat: 22gSaturated Fat: 14gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 87mgSodium: 181mgCarbohydrates: 285gFiber: 12gSugar: 259gProtein: 8g
* Please note that all nutrition information are just estimates. Values will vary among brands, so we encourage you to calculate these on your own for the most accurate results.
For the cinnamon syrup, you can use a small saucepan or a skillet, but you should always wait for the syrup to cool down to the room temperature before using it for your apple cider float.
Another trick you can apply to this recipe is to use a fine-mesh sieve to strain the syrup. That way, you get rid of any solid particles that could mess up the homogeneity of your syrup.
Do you have a cocktail shaker at home? Great! If you do not, simply use a jar with a lid or any other container to combine the ingredients.
One little tidbit is to not forget to keep your serving mugs in the freezer for an hour before using them. The cold mugs will keep the ice cream from melting too quickly. And if we’re being honest, nobody likes lukewarm floats anyway?
Storing The Cinnamon Syrup
If you have excess cinnamon syrup, you can store it in a jar with a tight lid for up to two months!
In terms of the alcohol substitute for bourbon, you have options. Brandy or even ginger beer can replace bourbon. You can even swap the apple cider with hard cider to increase the alcohol content. Ginger ale or sparkling apple cider will work flawlessly for those wanting extra fizz in their drink (more here).
The texture of the ice cream also makes a difference. If you put the gelato-type creamy and soft ice cream, it is going to melt almost instantly. If you don’t want that, use hard ice cream instead.
Feel free to adjust the quantity of the apple cider and bourbon to your taste. The cinnamon syrup can be replaced with caramel sauce too. If you are out of cinnamon sticks, you can also use ground cinnamon or cinnamon sugar to sprinkle on top.
A simple cocktail with ingredients easily found, what more can you ask for? Spiked apple cider float is a perfect combination of fizz, sweetness, and alcohol. It’s a total manifestation of“the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.”
Using cinnamon, apple cider, ice cream, all of which many people deeply love, and spiked with some bourbon, you will create a float recipe that none of your visitors can resist. Share your thoughts about this spiked apple cider floats recipe below.
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