How To Make the Ultimate Apple Cider Bar

how to make the ultimate apple cider bar

From Halloween to Thanksgiving, an apple cider bar is a delicious addition to any fall party. Whether you choose a slow cooker hot apple cider or an iced apple cider, there are a few accouterments that you need to have. Yes – you could have only apple cider and cups, then call it a day. But where’s the fun in that? These 10 apple cider bar must-haves will guarantee you have the ultimate apple cider bar for everyone.

Apple Cider Bar Must-Have #1 = Apple Cider

Shocking – the first thing you need for an excellent apple cider bar is…apple cider. You can either do warm or cold apple cider – either is delicious. But not just any apple cider will do. Growing up in Western New York, I’m very specific about my apple cider. Luckily I’m able to find Red Jacket Orchard at my local Publix. I 10/10 recommend this cider! Use this as the cold apple cider of your amazing bar. As for a warm apple cider, this slow cooker apple cider from scratch is the way to go!

If you want to start with a flavored cider as a base, here’s a couple different recipes:

Caramel Apple Cider

Holiday Spiced Cider

Old Virginia Wassail Cider

Hot Cranberry Orange Cider

Apple Cider Bar Must-Have #2 = Pops of Flavor

Now that you have your apple cider, it’s time for the delicious mix-ins that will add pops of flavor. We suggest brown sugar, cinnamon sticks, ginger, cayenne, torani flavored syrup and homemade vanilla extract.

Apple Cider Bar Must-Have #3 = Apple Cider Accoutrements

Accouterments is just a fancy term for garnish – and the flavor (plus the touch of pretty) that these garnishes add to your apple cider bar is *chef’s kiss* amazing. By adding apple chips, cinnamon sticks, rosemary, oranges, star anise, cranberries and whipped cream to your apple cider bar, it makes for some beautifully delicious apple ciders.

Apple Cider Bar Must-Have #4 = Rim Garnish

Next on our list of must-haves for the best apple cider bar ever are rim garnishes. These will work for both hot and iced apple cider bars, so no matter which you’re planning you should take note. We recommend caramel, ground cinnamon, brown sugar, maple syrup, tajin and cinnamon sugar mix. Seriously – check out how amazing it looks!

Apple Cider Bar Must-Have #5 = Alcohol

Spiked apple cider cocktails are our favorite in the fall! From apple cider mimosas to apple cider old fashioneds to apple cider margaritas, there’s a festive drink for everyone (that is 21 and older). Here’s a few of our favorite apple cider cocktails:

And here’s a couple apple cider mocktail ideas!

Apple Cider Bar Must-Have #6 = Glassware

Having a beautiful array of glassware is the next step in creating the ultimate apple cider bar experience. Lean into your party’s theme for this one. Halloween? Get fun spooky-inspired glassware (Target has great, affordable options). Thanksgiving? Get pumpkin-inspired mugs (pssst Target has those too) or do fun “Let’s Get Basted” cups from Etsy. You can also choose for the glassware you have already – but having a variety (champagne glasses, highball glasses, cocktail glasses…etc) is key! Mason jars are also a cute idea to use in your apple cider bar.

Glassware can also be a loose term. Feel free to use black or orange solo cups or paper cups for a budget-friendly option!

Apple Cider Bar Must-Have #7 = Cocktail Bar Accessories

Straws and napkins and fun ice molds – oh my! These apple cider bar accessories are not only needed but help execute your festive theme. Whether you choose Hocus Pocus theme for Halloween or classy Thanksgiving vibes, lean into it! Get skull-shaped ice molds or colored straws or fun napkins with sayings. All these little details will make your apple cider bar next-level great!

Apple Cider Bar Must-Have #8 = Festive Decor

Speaking of themes, adding festive decor will bring your apple cider bar to life. Pumpkins, flowers, witches and more fall decor (that you already have) add extra spice to your fall cocktail bar.

Apple Cider Bar Must-Have #9 = Tasty Treats

Adding delicious fall treats to your apple cider bar is a must! Here’s just a few tasty treats to add:

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Apple Cider Donuts

“There is nothing better in the fall than those melt-in-your-mouth apple donuts from the local orchard! This is my take on those tasty donuts!” – Megan
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Pecan Pie Balls

“The yummiest part of a Pecan Pie with a little kick! I made these for Thanksgiving and several holiday parties. They were a huge hit with all. Especially, for my healthy “portion controlled” friends! They liked the fact that they could have one pie ball instead of being served one slice of pie and only eating a small portion of it. A lot of people have asked about a non-alcoholic version: try almond extract if you do not like the taste of alcohol. You can also use a rum non-alcohol flavoring. Add a little water to equal liquid amount. Vanilla wafers can be subbed for graham crackers.” – Camille
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Trick or Treat Trail Mix

“Favorite of my kids. I only make it once a year in October to keep it special. Everybody who tries it always asks for the recipe. ENJOY!” – Kelly
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Mini Pumpkin Cheese Pies

“Portioned sized pies! I make these every year for Thanksgiving and Christmas. I’ve been making these for probably the past 8 years. I got the idea for making mini pies for my love of graham cracker crust. They have a layer of cheesecake and a layer of pumpkin pie. My family loves these. My daughter has requested these every year after I first made them. I topped them off with whipped cream and nuts. They turned out to be a big hit. From my family to yours enjoy!” – Nor
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Amish Cinnamon Bread

“No kneading, you just mix it up and bake it.” – Joyce
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County Fair Caramel Apple Cakes

“These cute cupcakes will remind you of all the fun of the county fair and those mouth-watering caramel apples.” – Darla

Apple Cider Bar Must-Have #10 = Cute Signage

Clear up any confusion with cute signage on your apple cider bar. Label all your yummy additions, ingredients and cocktail options for everyone!

There you have it – the top 10 things you need to have the ultimate apple cider bar. Post your pictures of your festive apple cider bar below!