Cary, NC — Thanksgiving will look different for many this year, but one thing that won’t change for my household is the tradition of a fancy, festive cocktail to cap off the night.
In looking for a good recipe for this year’s “cup of cheer,” I came across many contenders that would make for a great addition to the day. From morning mimosas to evening sippers, here are a few great recipes that only need 5 or fewer ingredients.
Caramel Apple Cider Mimosas
This one has been a favorite Thanksgiving morning drink of mine for the last few years It’s sweet, a little tart and gets the day full of cooking off to a happy start.
- A bottle of your favorite champagne
- 1 cup apple cider
- 2 tablespoons caramel
- 2 tablespoons cinnamon sugar
- Apple slices to garnish (granny smith add a great tart element to this sweet drink)
- Pour the caramel into a small, flat dish or plate
- Pour the cinnamon sugar into a small, flat dish or plate
- Turn the champagne flute upside down, dunking first in the caramel to coat the edge, then into the cinnamon sugar mixture
- Pour 1/4 cup of apple cider into each flute and top off with the bubbly
Tip: If you’re looking for an extra kick, add in an ounce or two of caramel vodka.
Mulled Red Wine (Made in Your Slow Cooker)
I was first introduced to mulled wine about three years ago and I’ll be the first to admit I was hesitant. How could hot wine be good? I know hot beer isn’t!
Anyhow, I gave it a shot at a winery a few years ago and I was hooked. Now I make some version of it each year, though usually once the weather has gotten a bit colder. It’s a great way to warm up and take in the flavors of the season like clove, cinnamon, nutmeg and orange.
- 4 cups apple cider
- 1/4 cup mulling spices, (I like this kind which is vegan and gluten-free)
- 3 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 to 1.5 bottles of dry red wine such as Pinot Noir, Merlot or Cabernet Sauvignon
- 1/2 cup Grand Marnier
- Optional garnishes: cinnamon sticks & orange slices
- Add the apple cider and mulling spices to slow cooker (this can also been done stove-top with a watchful eye)
- Turn the heat to high, stirring occasionally. Make sure to not let it boil.
- When it starts to steam, turn the heat to low and pour in the wine and Grand Marnier
- As soon as this heats through (carefully test with a spoon), turn the heat to warm or off and cover. Again, avoid boiling!
- Ladle into mugs or glasses with cinnamon sticks and orange slices
Not a big wine drinker? No problem, try the same method with a North Carolina cider like from Bull City Ciderworks or a personal favorite of mine, Bold Rock.
Pumpkin Old Fashioned
Okay, folks. This one is not for the faint of heart.
I have many relatives who love to indulge in an old fashioned, most of which live in Wisconsin where it’s almost a cultural must to like them. It’s not usually my cup of tea, but this one just might make a fan out of me.
Feel free the adjust the bourbon amount and maple syrup amounts to your likings of potency and sweetness!
This recipe yields two cocktails.
- 2.5 ounces bourbon
- 2/3 ounce pure maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon pumpkin purée
- 1-2 dashes of black walnut bitters (Standard Angostura bitters work well here, too)
- Orange peel, cinnamon stick, and a bourbon cherry for garnish
In a cocktail shaker with ice, combine the bourbon, maple syrup, pumpkin purée, and bitters. Shake well.
Add ice to a glass, then strain in the cocktail mixture
Garnish with orange peel, cinnamon stick and a bourbon cherry
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