Cider, Ginger and Bourbon Cocktail {Northern Spy}

5 from 3 votes

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This month, Progressive Eats is hosting a virtual cocktail party in celebration of Barb’s 3rd year of Cocktail Friday! Join us for appetizers, libations, and dessert and find out my thoughts on bourbon…


I’m not normally a bourbon girl. In fact, I’ve only ever ordered bourbon cocktails three times in my life.

The first time it was a special at a place that isn’t exactly known for mixed drinks, but it sounded too good not to try. It was called a Northern Spy, and it was a combination of bourbon, apricot brandy, and lemon juice. To my surprise, I actually like it a lot.

The second time, was a complete accident. I was at a fancy-pants speakeasy that didn’t stock any mainstream brands (they’re way too cool for that.) Since I didn’t recognize any of the liquor names, I took a gamble and chose my drink based on the other ingredients – boy was that first sip a surprise! It wan’t my favorite, but it wasn’t totally awful either.  It grew on me as I drank more. I don’t remember the details but I’m pretty sure it involved ginger beer and lemon juice. (Being a speakeasy, they don’t exactly put the menu online.)

The third time was this past summer. After having several sips of Shawn’s drink, I decided to order my own. It was basically a Manhattan topped with ginger beer and I don’t know what I was thinking. I’m pretty sure I made him finish it for me.


This month, we’re hosting a cocktail party for Progressive Eats and I really wanted to make something different.

This fall, one of my favorites has been apple cider mixed with white rum that I infuse with candied ginger and whole cardamom pods. It’s refreshing and delicious. I almost posted that, but then I remembered liking the Northern Spy a lot, so I decided to play with that idea.

The sweetness of the apricot liqueur and tartness of the fresh lemon juice balances out the bourbon really well and takes away most of its bite. The original recipe is topped with sparkling wine, but I decided to take a cue from the other drink that I sort of liked and top mine with ginger beer instead. Apple cider +  ginger beer + lemon juice is definitely a winning combination.

Served super cold over ice, it just might make a bourbon drinker out of me after all.


Cider, Ginger and Bourbon Cocktail {Northern Spy} 1

Northern Spy {Cider, Ginger, and Bourbon Cocktail}

5 from 3 votes
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Servings: 4
Calories: 184kcal
Author: Lauren Keating


  • 1 cup bourbon
  • 1 cup apple cider
  • ¼ cup apricot liqueur
  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 cup ginger beer


  • Fill four glasses with ice.
  • In a cocktail shaker fill with ice, combine the bourbon, cider, apricot liqueur, and lemon juice. Shake well. Strain into the prepared glasses and top with ginger beer.
  • Serve immediately.
Nutrition Facts
Northern Spy {Cider, Ginger, and Bourbon Cocktail}
Amount Per Serving
Calories 184
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.



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Progressive Eats is our virtual version of a progressive dinner party. If you’re unfamiliar with the concept, a progressive dinner involves going from house to house, enjoying a different course at each location. With Progressive Eats, a theme is chosen each month, members share recipes suitable for a delicious meal or party, and you can hop from blog to blog to check them out.

We have a core group of 12 bloggers, but we will always need substitutes and if there is enough interest would consider additional groups. To see our upcoming themes and how you can participate, please check out the schedule at Creative Culinary or contact Barb for more information.

GIVEAWAY!! This month’s theme is a Cocktail Party celebrating Creative Culinary’s 3rd year of Friday Cocktails. Be sure to hop over to Barb’s post where she is giving away a gorgeous wine bottle opener to one of our Progressive Eats readers.


By on October 28th, 2014

About Lauren

Hi, I'm Lauren! I'm a certified plant-based cook and enthusiastic omnivore who loves looking for creative ways to make weeknight meals more nutritious. I'm the author of Heathy Eating One Pot Cookbook and Healthy Meal Prep Slow Cooker Cookbook. I also blog at The Busy Foodie.

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29 thoughts on “Cider, Ginger and Bourbon Cocktail {Northern Spy}”

  1. We have a modern style speak-easy around here too that is all fancy pants. I haven’t been yet but I imagine they’d have cocktails like this! Simple but delicious. Cannot wait to give it a whirl!


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