Smoky Sanderson Sisters’ Smash – my favorite quick and easy warming autumn bourbon smash. It’s frightastically magical. Boiled down cinnamon spiced cider syrup, smoked cinnamon, and sage. All smashed together with blackberries, bitters, and warming bourbon. A magical Halloween cocktail to celebrate the season. Finish this smoky smash off with fresh sage and a smoking cinnamon stick for that extra special Sanderson Sisters black magic.
And we are back! Cocktail Saturday is officially back for the season. This means 3 months of holiday cocktails, spooky for October, warming and elegant for Thanksgiving in November, and wonderfully festive for December.
I am so excited!! These are without a doubt some of my favorite recipes, photos, and videos to create. I’m able to have so much fun with each new drink. I love getting to be overly creative with them!
Today we’re celebrating the Halloween season with our first spooky cocktail. It’s obviously inspired by Hocus Pocus 2, which came out yesterday. Asher and I love the original Hocus Pocus. We’ve watched it every single year together really since she was a baby.
We’ve been so excited for the sequel and can’t wait to watch it this weekend.
So we decided a “black magic” style drink was perfect for today.
The spooky details
The base of the recipe is a simple mix of boiled down cinnamon spiced apple cider syrup, fresh sage, blackberries, lemon bitters, and bourbon.
The drink itself is a blood-red color. It’s very warming, has a nice cinnamon spice, and a delicious sweetness from the berries.
Simmer the apple cider with a cinnamon stick to make the cider syrup.
Then the rest is very quick. Start by smoking the cinnamon stick and sage. Sounds fancy but all you do is light a cinnamon stick on fire with a kitchen torch. Do the same for the sage, then trap the smoke inside your cocktail glass.
This will leave the glass with a smoky cinnamon and sage flavor. It’s really fun and a delicious twist.
Now mash the berries with fresh sage, add the lemon juice, bitters, and bourbon. Pour the cocktail over ice. I love to char up one more cinnamon sticks, then add fresh sage to the glass.
It’s an extra finishing touch, but a magical one.
Looking for other spooky cocktail recipes? Here are a few ideas:
“I put a Spell on You” Poison Apple Martini
Lastly, if you make this Smoky Sanderson Sisters’ Smash, be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Above all, I love to hear from you guys and always do my best to respond to each and every comment. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram! Looking through the photos of recipes you all have made is my favorite
Smoky Sanderson Sisters’ Smash
Servings: 1 drink
Calories Per Serving: 555 kcal
Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.
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- 1 cup apple cider
- 2-3 cinnamon sticks plus more for burning
- 2-3 sage leaves plus more for burning
- 8 fresh blackberries
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 2 dashes orange bitters
- 2 ounces bourbon
- 1. To make the cider syrup. In a small pot, bring the apple cider and cinnamon sticks to a boil over high heat. Boil 8-10 minutes, until reduced by half. Let cool.2. Working on a heat-proof tray, use a kitchen torch to burn 1 cinnamon stick with 2 sage leaves, then place a cocktail glass immediately over the cinnamon and sage, trapping in the smoke. Let sit 2-5 minutes.3. In a cocktail shaker, muddle the blackberries and sage, squishing the berries to release the juices. Add 1-2 tablespoons of cider syrup, lemon, bitters, and bourbon. Shake to combine. 4. Add ice to the glass. Pour the drink over, and gently stir. Garnish with fresh sage and cinnamon.
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To Make a Mocktail: omit the bourbon and use 1 additional tablespoon apple cider or sparkling apple cider with 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract.
It was enjoyable. We love smoking bourbons.
Happy Monday!! 🍁 Love to hear that this recipe turned out well for you, thanks a bunch for making it! xT
Hey Tieghan – Love your recipes, and was excited about this recipe. All-in-all, it was tasty, but a couple of questions/suggestions:
1. How thick should the cider reduce down into? When reduced by half, it was still liquid like and not syrupy.
2. The cocktail is delicious, but a bit tart. Do you suggest maybe a little simple syrup to balance?
3. Like another person suggested, I found that (at least for my tastes) that this cocktail was better strained (tried both ways).
Thanks again for this, and in advance for your reply!
Thanks so much for giving this recipe a try!! The cider is not going to thicken up, it should be the texture of a nature maple syrup, sounds like yours was about right! You could add more syrup or a plain simply syrup next time to lessen the tartness. Yeah, I think the straining is totally personal preference!! Cheers! xx
Thanks, Tieghan! I made this recipe for two cocktails and boiled 2 cups of cider down to one cup, but the consistency is still very much the same at the cider before boiling – not at all thick like a syrup. Perhaps I need to attempt to boil this a bit longer to get that syrupy consistency.
Awesome!! Sounds about right, it won’t thicken up too much!
Hi! Can this cocktail recipe have a batch version?
Totally! Just adjust the serving size to the amount that you want:) I hope you love the recipe! Cheers! xx
Hi! I made this a couple of times and it’s great, but I have two questions:
1. Is the cocktail supposed to be strained?
2. Is the cocktail itself supposed to be topped with more apple cider? Or does it just get the cider syrup? It ends up being a small cocktail with all of the listed ingredients, so I wasn’t sure
Thanks so much for giving the recipe a try!! I don’t strain this, but if you want you totally can! The syrup is all that I add, but if you want more cider you can add more to your liking! I hope this helps! xT
Can’t wait to make this! Where are the glasses from? I must have them 😊
Thanks so much Mandy!! So sorry, unfortunately these glasses are pretty old and I can no longer find the exact ones, but here’s a link for some other fun glasses you might like!
Please let me know if you have any other questions! xT
Been dying to make this to watch the new Hocus Pocus and it did NOt disappoint! Love the Smokey flavor!
Happy Monday!🎃 I am thrilled to hear that this recipe was tasty for you, thanks a bunch for making it! xx
How do you get to look smoky? Looking forward to making this soon
I use the smoke from lighting the cinnamon and sage and trapping it in the glass:) I talk all about it in the description of the recipe! Please let me know if you have any other questions! xx
I think it’s the dry ice cube at the end 🙂