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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.

Smoky Sanderson Sister's Smash |

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!

Smoky Sanderson Sister's Smash |

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.

Smoky Sanderson Sister's Smash |

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.

Smoky Sanderson Sister's Smash |

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.

Smoky Sanderson Sister's Smash |

This will leave the glass with a smoky cinnamon and sage flavor. It’s really fun and a delicious twist.

Smoky Sanderson Sister's Smash |

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.

Smoky Sanderson Sister's Smash |

Looking for other spooky cocktail recipes? Here are a few ideas: 

“I put a Spell on You” Poison Apple Martini

The Goblet of Fire Cocktail

Nightmare on Bourbon Street

The Black Widow Smash

The Deathly Hallows Cocktail

The Golden Snitch Cocktail

Smoky Sanderson Sister's Smash |

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

Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
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.



  • 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.


To Make a Mocktail: omit the bourbon and use 1 additional tablespoon apple cider or sparkling apple cider with 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract. 
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Smoky Sanderson Sister's Smash |

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  1. 5 stars
    Love this! I make it all the time in the Fall! If you really want to up the smoke factor, I would recommend using a nice, peaty Scotch in place of the Bourbon.

  2. Quick questions…want to make this smoke like you did at the very end. Was that dry ice that you added? And how did you drop that in with your bare fingers? I thought it would burn your fingers. Thanks so much!

    1. Hey Sandy,
      Happy Monday!! 🍁 Love to hear that this recipe turned out well for you, thanks a bunch for making it! xT

  3. 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!

    1. Hi Matthew,
      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

      1. 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.

    1. Hi Katy,
      Totally! Just adjust the serving size to the amount that you want:) I hope you love the recipe! Cheers! xx

  4. 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

    1. Hey Jess,
      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

    1. Hey Lynn,
      Happy Monday!🎃 I am thrilled to hear that this recipe was tasty for you, thanks a bunch for making it! xx

    1. Hey there,
      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