Restaurants and event planners tend to curate food menus by the season, but cocktails are often overlooked! I believe true attention to detail means carefully planning the dining experience from beginning to end- from decor to first sips and first bites!
I created these cocktails with the Thanksgiving holiday in mind, but they're good for the entire holiday season. And yes, the drinks were mixed and photographed by yours truly! I'm happy to make them for you during our next extended date!
Cran-Apple Cider Mimosa
Mimosas are the quintessential breakfast/brunch drink, so this drink is perfect for serving if you have a friend or two coming over to help you prepare the grand Thanksgiving Day meal.
- 3oz Apple Cider
- 3oz Champagne
- 5 Cranberries
- 1 Apple Slice, for garnish on glass
- Sprig of Rosemary
Mimosas are pretty intuitive.
In a champagne flute, add your apple cider and champagne. The rosemary sprig adds some aroma and flavor to the drink. Fresh cranberries and an apple slice make for a beautiful garnish.
Peach Cobbler Bourbon Punch (serves 5-8)
My family down south loves to have "punch" at every gathering; it tends to be a crowd pleasing favorite. This fall punch has my uncle's favorite ingredient (bourbon) and the taste of my aunt's most requested recipe (peach cobbler).
- 1/4 cup of White Grape Juice
- 1/2 cup of Peach schnapps
- 1 bottle of Apple Cider
- 1 2/3 cups of Bourbon
- 8 Cinnamon Sticks
- 1/2 cup of Cranberries
- 3 Rosemary sprigs
- 3 peaches, sliced
- Sugar or a 1/4 cup of simple syrup (optional)
- Ground cinnamon (optional)
Punch is something that gives you lots of flexibility and versatility. You can vary the ratio of each of the liquids to play up different flavors. I would recommend preparing the punch sans cider to allow the rosemary and cinnamon sticks to infuse flavor into the drink. Add the cider just as you prepare to serve for a freshly effervescent punch.
Why add cider, anyway? I like my "punch" to be a bit fizzy (I like fizzy drinks in general). I also prefer it not to be too strong, so I use a non-alcoholic apple cider. To me, it's more fun - and less scandalous - to be able to enjoy a few cups of punch at Thanksgiving dinner before I start feeling the alcohol. Opt for a hard cider or ginger beer if you want a stronger drink.
In a punch bowl or beverage dispenser, combine the white grape juice, peach schnapps, apple cider, and bourbon, then stir. Add in fresh cranberries, sliced peaches, cinnamon sticks, and rosemary sprigs. If you used a non-alcoholic apple cider, it will already be sweet; but if you want to sweeten a bit more (or used the alternatives), you can add sugar and ground cinnamon.
White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake Martini (Recipe serves
I always have trouble at the end of dinner deciding whether or not I should skip dessert, given how many calories I've already consumed. It's always satiating when you can satisfy a sweet tooth with one drink - and a little less guilt!
- Caramel sauce, drizzled in glass
- White Chocolate sauce, drizzled in glass
- Honey, for the rim
- Graham Cracker, crushed for the rim
- 1 1/2 oz Half & Half
- 1 oz White Chocolate Liqueur
- 1 oz Vanilla Vodka
- 1 Raspberry (for garnish)
What's a cheesecake without a graham cracker crust? I used honey and crushed graham cracker to rim my martini glass. You can drizzle the glass with caramel or white chocolate sauces for aesthetics (and a bit of flavor with each sip), or pour the sauces into the bottom of the glass for a special treat at the end of the cocktail. I couldn't find white chocolate sauce at my grocery, so I made some at home with heavy cream and white chocolate chips over low heat.
In a cocktail shaker, add the ice, vanilla vodka, white chocolate liqueur, and half and half. Strain into the glass and garnish with a raspberry. Enjoy!