Behind the Bar: “The Leftwich” Fall Cocktail

We’re kicking off the fall season with a new series called “Behind the Bar” where Clay and I will share our favorite seasonal or holiday-specific cocktails. The “Leftwich” cocktail will always be our “his” drink, and the “McAlister” will be our “hers.” Since providing alcohol a couple years ago, we have had lots of fun experimenting with specialty and custom cocktails for our clients. The passion has poured over into what we create in our home for guests, and we thought you’d like to incorporate some of these fun drinks into your next gathering.

Today, we’ll start by sharing Clay’s cocktail of choice this fall season, a Bourbon Apple Cider.

Clay would consider himself a collector of bourbon, so it was no surprise to me when he chose a bourbon-based drink for his specialty cocktail. He loves to hunt for rare bottles and has been known to hop in his car on a moments notice when he hears of a bourbon drop in one of his many Facebook groups. The whole thing is comical to me, but I do love the thoughtfulness that goes into the creation of bourbon and I’ve come to appreciate sipping it occasionally.

But after trying his fall cocktail creation, I think I have a new favorite way to drink bourbon! Not only is the flavor profile perfect for fall – spices, sweet, full – it looks like the season! My personal favorite is the cinnamon sugar rim that is so simple to create but makes such an impact. Let’s get into how it’s made…

Bourbon Apple Cider


  • 4 oz apple cider
  • 2 oz bourbon
  • 2 tablespoons cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • orange wedge
  • rosemary sprig


1. First, combine the cinnamon and sugar together on a plate.

2. Run the orange wedge around the edge of your cocktail glass. Set the rim of the glass in the cinnamon and sugar then fill the glass with ice.

3. In a shaker filled with ice, combine the cider and bourbon and stir to combine. Strain into your ice filled glass.

4. Garnish with the orange slice, rosemary sprig, and a cinnamon stick.

Original recipe: Set the Table

If you make “The Leftwich,” tag us on Instagram so we can see!

Cheers & happy sipping!

Photography by Liz Grogan

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