Giving Thanks for Signature Cocktails

Thanksgiving is upon us! And I like whiskey! So what is more fitting than a hot whiskey cider punch to warm you and your family and friends before, during, and/or after you gorge yourself on turkey? Try this recipe at your next holiday party. It’s easy to throw together and it still tastes good if you’re missing a few ingredients.

If you’re not a whiskey fan, try substituting spiced rum. Also delicious.

Whiskey Cider Punch

  • 1 part Whiskey (I use Jameson)
  • 5 parts Apple Cider (local if you can get it!)
  • A few apples
  • 1 orange
  • 2-3 cinnamon Sticks
  • A handful of mulling spices (I find these in the produce section in the fall. Trader Joes sometimes carries them as well. This time around I used some from Penzeys)
  • Orange Spice tea – around 2-3 tea bags (I use Celestial Seasonings)

You can do this a few ways, depending on how many people you’re serving. My favorite way is on a hot plate in a pretty pot with a ladle. The hot plate can be moved to the bar area so people don’t have to serve themselves from the stove, and the punch can stay good and hot for as long as you need (though it usually doesn’t last too long). You can also use an electric crock pot on a low setting, though this takes longer to heat up.

Put about 1/8 cup mulling spices in a piece of cheesecloth and tie it off. You can also use a tea steeper if you have one handy. In your preferred vessel, heat up the cider with the tea bags, the mulling spices, and the cinnamon sticks. When the punch reaches your desired temperature, lower the heat (or remove heat altogether) and add the whiskey. Float apple and orange slices on top and serve.

If you’re not serving directly from the punch bowl (or punch pot, in this case) and have some fancy glasses or mugs handy, you can do a few things for garnish. I added a twist of burnt orange peel (peel orange, slice peel, twist, toast with lighter). If you want to rim the glass, dip the rim of the glass in a little cider and twist the rim into some brown sugar or cinnamon sugar. If you have large enough glasses or mugs, float an apple slice on top. And then powder it with cinnamon. Add sparklers. Set off fireworks. Do whatever makes you feel fancy!

Do you make a specific cocktail part of your Thanksgiving tradition? Leave a comment and tell us about it!

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