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Makin' it with Maren: Mixology Made Easy. A Cocktail Blog.

Flock It: A Holiday-Inspired Bourbon and Spiced Apple Cider Martini.

By: Maren Swanson • November 30th, 2016
Flock It: A holiday martini made with Bourbon and Spiced Cider - by Maren Swanson. #martini #recipe #bourbon #Christmas

The holidays are always crazy for me…especially this year! I apologize if I’ve lagged on putting up posts, but I started a fun new job with one of my favorite companies, Williams-Sonoma! I currently I have three jobs, plus family in town for the holidays (back-to-back) and my plate is full. That being said, the holidays are also my favorite time of year, so on my rare days off, I am doing my best to get in the spirit of Christmas.

"Flocked" thyme for holiday cocktails

When things get too crazy in life, sometime you just got to say FLOCK IT – and that’s what I did! I drew inspiration from all the chaos and awesomeness circulating in my life right now, and I made an amazing holiday martini with it all. I call it Flock It and it’s made with Bourbon, sweet vermouth, spiced apple cider, pomegranate juice, lemon, cinnamon simple syrup and “flocked” lemon thyme. The flavors blend beautifully and the spices really evoke the seasonal spirit.

I remember when my parents got our Noble Fir tree flocked one year and it thought it looked so cool. The fake snow look on our pine tree made our Arizona Christmas so special - we never got snow in Phoenix!

Gold Swan Cocktail Shaker from Anthropologie
Flock It: A holiday martini made with Bourbon and Spiced Cider - by Maren Swanson. #martini #recipe #bourbon #Christmas

My mom came in town for Thanksgiving last Thursday and gave me some beautiful martini glasses, which I had to photograph, and a friend in my culinary school class brought fresh lemon thyme from her garden for us to take home, so I knew I would incorporate that somehow too. I decided to “flock” the thyme by giving a thorough dip in powdered sugar and then giving it a light shake to get off any of the excess sugar. Isn’t the flocked lemon thyme adorable?! It’s also super fragrant.

I’m a big fan of Trader Joe’s, and I’m always picking up new things to try. I recently purchased their Spiced Apple Cider and knew it would pair perfectly with bourbon.

Flock It: A holiday martini made with Bourbon and Spiced Cider - by Maren Swanson. #martini #recipe #bourbon #Christmas

Trader Joe's Spiced Cider
Floral Martini Glass

For the rim, I lined the martini glass using my finger with some of the fresh lemon juice and then dipped each one in a plate of cinnamon and sugar – so naughty and nice!

I hope your holidays are magical this year, however, if you need a break from it all, I suggest you take me advice and martini recipe and FLOCK IT! Cheers.

Flock It Holiday Martini

Flock It: A holiday martini made with Bourbon and Spiced Cider - by Maren Swanson. #martini #recipe #bourbon #Christmas


  • 2 oz Bourbon
  • 3/4 oz Rossi Sweet Vermouth
  • 2 oz Trader Joe's Spiced Cider
  • 1 oz pomegranate juice
  • 3/4 oz fresh lemon juice
  • *1/2 oz cinnamon simple syrup
  • ice

  • Garnish:
  • lemon thyme or regular thyme dusted or "flocked" with powdered sugar

  • *Cinnamon Simple Syrup:


  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup water

  • Bring a 1/2 cup of water and a 1/2 cup of sugar, plus cinnamon, to a boil and stir until sugar dissolves. Let cool before use. Refrigerate simple syrup for up to a week in an airtight container.


    Add bourbon, sweet vermouth, spiced cider, pomegranate and lemon juice, cinnamon simple syrup and some ice into a cocktail shaker. Secure shaker top and shake until tin turns frosty cold. Strain liquid into a martini glass with a cinnamon-sugar rim. Garnish with floked thyme.

    Follow me on Twitter: @MarenSwanson for more mixology tips!

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