For the Honey Syrup (makes 12 oz)
Combine the honey and water in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring the mixture to a rapid boil, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat and let cool. Strain the syrup and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
To make the drink
Fill a tumbler or mason jar with a handful of ice. Pour the whiskey, honey syrup, and vanilla into an ice-filled shaker. Shake vigorously and strain into the glass. Top off with sparkling apple cider and garnish with a thin round of apple and a cinnamon stick, if desired.