Bourbon Apple Cider Thyme Punch

Bourbon Apple Cider Thyme Punch

November 17, 2023

One thing I miss from my time living in Boston is Moveable Feast – a lovely and talented group of foodie friends that got together every couple of months to contribute to and share a meal, based on a given theme. I can’t take credit for creating this group but I was tremendously blessed to be invited to participate. At each feast we ate, we laughed, and we ate some more. There were many times I was very stressed about the dish I was preparing but I always looked forward to getting together with my friends.

Over the 12+ years I was part of the group, I wrote about and shared many recipes from past feasts. About 8-10 years in, I tried to track the different themes and dishes that were made, with some moderate success (my memory was lost in a food coma). I recently came across the list and created a shortlist of recipes to recreate and share. This is the first.

Bourbon Apple Cider Thyme Punch - closeup

Edna Lewis inspired feast

The Edna Lewis feast was one of the last that I hosted before I left Boston. I was inspired by a Top Chef episode where chefs were challenged to create dishes to honor legendary Southern chef Edna Lewis. Among the dishes I made were her Skillet Scallions and Thin-Sliced Cucumbers with White Vinegar Dressing.

Bourbon punch, what could be more Southern?

As the host, I also provided a libation. This alcoholic punch, while not an Edna Lewis recipe, seemed exceedingly Southern. And given that this feast was held in October, the use of apple cider seemed fitting.

Not being particularly adept at making cocktails, I like serving a punch that guests may serve themselves. They control the ice, the garnishes, and how much they want to consume. They can even cut down the alcohol with a bit more club soda, if needed.

Bourbon Apple Cider Thyme Punch

A minor modification

The original recipe called for the addition of Angostura bitters. Since a member of our party is allergic to orange, I left it out and we liked the punch just fine. This is what’s listed in the recipe below. You may add the bitters to replicate the original recipe.

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Bourbon Apple Cider Thyme Punch

Bourbon Apple Cider Thyme Punch

  • Author: Southern Living (modified)
  • Total Time: 55 minutes
  • Yield: 8 1x


This fall punch is a combination of sweet-tart apple cider, Southern bourbon, and herbal thyme. It’s a festive way to kick off a holiday feast.



Thyme Simple Syrup

½ cup granulated sugar

½ cup water

¼ cup loosely packed thyme sprigs

Bourbon Apple Cider Thyme Punch

4 cups apple cider

2½ cups bourbon

1¼ cups club soda

Thyme Simple Syrup

1 apple, thinly sliced

Thyme sprigs, for garnish


For the thyme simple syrup

Combine sugar, water, and thyme sprigs in a small saucepan. Bring mixture to a boil over medium-high, stirring constantly until sugar dissolves.

Remove from heat, and cool to room temperature, about 30 minutes. Remove and discard thyme sprigs.

For the punch

Stir together apple cider, bourbon, club soda, and Thyme simple syrup, in a pitcher. Serve over ice, and garnish with apple slices and thyme sprigs.


The original recipe called for 12 dashes of Angostura bitters which you can add back in to create the original punch.

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Inactive Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Category: Drinks
  • Cuisine: American


  • Serving Size: 1 cup (8 ounces)
  • Calories: 289.38
  • Sugar: 26.28 g.
  • Sodium: 14.54 mg.
  • Fat: 0.25 g.
  • Saturated Fat: 0.05 g.
  • Carbohydrates: 29.38 g.
  • Fiber: 1.01 g.
  • Protein: 0.27 g.
  • Cholesterol: 0

Keywords: bourbon, apple cider, thyme

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